Walk Past that Eagle Feather?

Some of the people who sell items made with wild-animal parts know the law, and some do not, based on what I have seen at festivals and on websites.

So here is a reminder. Possession of raptor parts in the United States is federally regulated, and possession of eagle feathers or parts are highly regulated.

Basically, unless you are a registered member of an American Indian tribe, you can’t have it. And for them there are rules, summarized at the article linked above.

If you find that feather on the ground and you pick it up . . . just don’t say that you were not aware.

(Somehow this train of thought reminds me of one of my big sister’s favorite sayings: “Don’t forget to put a quarter in the parking meter before you go in to rob the bank.”)


4 thoughts on “Walk Past that Eagle Feather?

  1. Art

    It’s worth noting that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 (and similar laws relating to the treaty elsewhere) is expansive well-beyond raptors to most birds that migrate at all, including crows, cardinals, and swallows for a few fast examples; if it’s a feather one should simply not pick it up.

    I admit I used to warn vendors — including ones advertising selling eagle feathers in their personal profile on Witchvox — but never heard back from any of them at all.

  2. True enough. But it seems that the action — both regulatory and neoshamanic — is with raptor parts.

    With migratory birds, there are exceptions for hunters and fly-tiers, that’s a different story.

  3. Pitch313

    As a half-way decent citizen of the USA, I support and uphold laws and regulations addressed to wildlife and the natural environment, including laws and regulations governing raptors and eagles.

    But as a half-way decent magic practitioner, I gotta admit that it may be difficult to leave found feathers where they happen to rest in the wild. Or in your back yard. There are, we might say, connections of civil law and connections of magical conscience. A responsible practitioner might have to figure out whether a found feather is simply an item or less simply a token. Maybe a token offered by an animal spirit companion. (They are not bound by the civil laws as we are.)

    Whatever the ins and outs that I mentioned above, however, I am certain that the slightest whiff of money or commerce about the found feather always and conclusively decides in favor of item–therfore to be left alone.

  4. Well, one minor exemption– falconers like me. Those feathers you have seen at my place are legal, though I am not allowed eagle feathers… (I would be if I flew one).

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