In-Flight Bird Taxidermy With Allis Markham - Atlas Obscura Experiences
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In-Flight Bird Taxidermy With Allis Markham

3 sessions
$65 per person
See Dates
$65 per person
$65 per person
See Dates
What We’ll Do

In this three-part lecture series, learn the principles of capturing motion in taxidermy while mounting a European Starling in flight.

Course Description

While this class is designed for all beginners, it can serve as the next step for those who took Allis’ previous bird taxidermy course.

Join award-winning taxidermist and educator Allis Markham for a full-fledged demonstration series on in-flight taxidermy, drawing on techniques and principles often used in museum work. Allis will demonstrate how to capture movement in an otherwise static specimen, mounting a European Starling from start to finish—wholly suspending disbelief (and starling). Over the course of three weeks, we’ll explore the basics of taxidermy with the added whimsy of creating a sense of motion, adding a valuable skill to any budding or pro taxidermist’s skillset.

We’ll begin by walking through the process of taxidermy; Allis will discuss general techniques that apply to mammals and birds, such as prepping skins, sculpting forms, and finishing work. Then, we’ll zero in on more intricate techniques, like replicating wind by altering feathers. By the end of this course, you’ll not only have a deeper understanding of bird taxidermy, but you’ll also be equipped with printable PDFs of each step, class recordings for up to ten weeks after the end of the course, and resources to help you practice at home. At the very least, you’ll leave with a deep appreciation for the anatomy of the creatures you encounter in your neighborhood or backyard.

Syllabus at a Glance

There are 3 total sessions included in this purchase, each lasting for 1.5 hours on 3 consecutive Saturdays beginning July 10.

Session 1 (Saturday, 7/10/2021, 2–3:30 PM ET): How It’s Done: Taxidermy 101 & bird prep

Session 2 (Saturday, 7/17/2021, 2–3:30 PM ET): Bird Prep & Form Creation

Session 3 (Saturday, 7/24/2021, 2–3:30 PM ET): Bird Mounting, Grooming, Posing & Ethical Specimen Sourcing

Between Sessions

Outside of class, students can watch videos that will be permanently available at for a more in-depth look at aspects of the process. No homework is mandatory.  

Course Materials 

While no materials are required to join this course, students who wish to mount a bird will be provided links and suggestions for purchasing supplies and legally acquiring specimens. 

Pricing Options

We currently offer tiered ticket pricing in an effort to increase accessibility for all students, regardless of economic situation. Our lecture series are available at three ticket prices, with a limited number of no-pay spots available for students who could not otherwise participate. This model is intended to support a wider range of students as well as our instructors. To learn more about our tiered sliding scale pricing model, please visit our FAQ page.

Atlas Obscura Online Courses

Our online courses offer opportunities for participants to emerge with new skills, knowledge, connections, and perspectives through multi-session classes designed and taught by expert instructors. Courses can take one of two forms: Seminars are intimate, interactive classes—capped at nine to 25 students—exploring topics and crafts through discussion, workshops, assignments, and in-class activities. We also offer lecture series that can be attended live, or viewed via a recording that will be shared within 72 hours after each session airs. Class recordings for lecture series will be available with a temporary password for a limited time following the final session of the course.

To learn more about our current course offerings, please visit

For answers to commonly asked questions, check out our FAQ page here.

Where We’ll Be

Once registered, you’ll receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite that will provide access to the class meeting. Please save the confirmation email as you’ll use it to access your course via Zoom on each scheduled date and time.

About Your Instructor
Allis Markham
Allis Markham

Allis Markham is an award-winning taxidermist/nassologist based in Los Angeles, California. She was named Third in the World at the 2017 World Taxidermy Championships and was the 2018 California Champion, receiving Judges’ Choice Best of Show, People's Choice, and the Artisan Award from the United Taxidermist Association.

More recently, Allis has focused on museum work and public education, and taught the only taxidermy course in the country in recent years at Occidental College. She’s worked with institutions such as the Natural History Museum of Santa Barbara, Moore Lab of Zoology, The Huntington Library, The Frost Museum of Science, Colorado State University, and The Getty. Additionally, she’s created commissions for Gucci, The Nomad Hotel, EB Florals, and television shows such as Bates Motel. Allis has also been featured in numerous publications such as The New York TimesThe Washington Post, the cover of LA Weekly, and more. You can also watch the critically acclaimed documentary STUFFED, which followed her for several years, or listen to her episode of Ologies.

What Else You Should Know

This lecture series is designed so students can participate live or watch a recording after each session airs. Sessions will take place live over Zoom, with dedicated Q&A segments for students to ask questions via video or chat. Within 72 hours after each session airs, we will email all enrolled students a recording of the session, which they can watch using a temporary password for up to ten weeks after the course concludes.

In most cases, instructors will use Google Classroom to communicate with students outside of class. While students aren’t required to use Classroom, instructors will be using this platform to post resources, discussion questions, and assignments, when applicable.

We provide closed captioning for all of our courses, as well as transcripts upon request. Please reach out to us at if you have any questions, requests, or access needs.

Dates and Availability

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