With the UV maps mostly ready, I decided to set up the skeleton for rigging. It is not bound to the geometry yet, as there could still be some tweaking done such as in the chest or for the mouth..
I may have to do some reworking of the UV maps for the feet. I feel they could be a lot more efficient. The other issue I have found is that the UV shell for the sole does not curve up into the ankle like the shell for the rear foot does. This is merely some readjustment work though, but it is good to minimise the amount of wasted space on UV and texture maps.
I might also look into using shader maps for the specular highlight ad rolloff level. What I have in mind is that the blinn shader can display two different intensities, effectively changing the material in order to pick out the claws or the beak without needing to use more than one texture map.
The alternative is the claws are designated a much smaller shader map. It might be less complex and it might not be as resource-consuming during rendering as a full 2K texture map set. But this is a consideration, the priorities at present are finishing the model and the UV maps, ready to skin to the skeleton.