I know Native Americans can legally keep certain bird feathers like an eagle’s, but why is it illegal for others to have and keep the feathers of certain types of birds, even if they found them?

I don’t understand nor see the harm- after all it’s off the bird for good!

It is illegal to a have ANY feather of ANY native bird in the US in your possession. This is stated in the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The reason is if someone has feathers…how can you prove you did not kill the bird to acquire them?? You really can’t. If it was legal to own them..many people WOULD kill birds to get them.

John P…I am not speaking of birds that people have a license or permit to kill such as game birds DURING hunting season. Obviously…the feathers would still be on the body in their possession. I just want people to know that they are not even supposed to pick up feathers off the ground. This is illegal..where I live people have actually been charged with having feathers that they picked up off the ground. I am Native American, and I have eagle feathers AND they are all documented and registered. The law. These are conservation laws. The main reason is to deny a market for the feathers of endangered or protected species. Even with these strict regulations in place you would be astounded by the amount of poaching (illegal hunting) that goes on in pursuit of these feathers.

There are some cases when a protected feather is found you may be able to keep it. Where you found it must be documented and visited by Conservation to verify you found it and did not "take" it.

If you are a licensed wild life rescue agent or worker you may also posses feathers.i think you can possess some of these feathers, but you can not make products for sale with bird feathers, fur from certain animals or their claws and/or teeth… etc.

every state has different laws.

and indians have to follow these laws as well — they can’t use eagle feathers for sale on craft or artistic items. most of them use what are called "craft feathers" — turkey feathers, etc.

the law is in place because of poaching, endangered species. no one really knows where a person obtained these items, be it feathers or otherwise… for all the Department of Natural Resources knows, someone has gone out and killed the endangered animal for its feathers or fur.

i do know that in the State of Michigan if you see an owl or bird of prey dead on the road, it’s against the law to take the body or any of the feathers, as well.

that’s all i know about it.. i have a friend who is an indian, and this is where i got the information i gave here.

take care.It is *Not* "Illegal to have any feather from any native bird in your possession!"

If a native bird is allowed to be hunted, such as turkeys, geese, quail, etc, then you may have their feathers if you killed the bird. It is not always allowed for you to sell them, however.

As to finding a feather from any protected species, they are illegal to possess in order to prevent poaching of the birds. You would be surprised how many people would kill our beautiful Cardinals, Blue Jays, Robins, etc, if they were not protected.

All in all, its a good law!IT’s not really illigal to own certain feathers but it’s illigal to sell or trade them.

We have three golden eagles that we fly for Falconry purposes. We can give the feathers away to guests, or schools for display, but you would need the correct documentation to sell them to ensure that these feathers are not from wild birds, otherwise people would be going out and shooting eagles to sell the feathers and bones.Technically, as far as I know it’s illegal to have any feathers other then those classified as game birds. Its just odd laws…