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Feather collecting

Dear Carolina Birders,

I think this is a bit technical but this is what is in the CFR.

Under 50 CFR (Code of  Federal Regulations) 10.13, a Northern Flicker
Colaptes auratus is identified as a migratory bird.

Thus being in possession of a Northern Flicker or its parts is in violation
of 16 USC (United States Code) 703 "Migratory Bird Treaty Act"

703.  Taking, killing, or possessing migratory birds unlawful

     Unless and except as permitted by regulations made as hereinafter
provided in this subchapter, it shall be unlawful at any time, by any means
or in any manner, to pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill, attempt to take,
capture, or kill, possess, offer for sale, sell, offer to barter, barter,
offer to purchase, purchase, deliver for shipment, ship, export, import,
cause to be shipped, exported, or imported, deliver for transportation,
transport, or cause to be transported, carry or cause to be carried, or
receive for shipment, transportation, carriage, or export, any migratory
bird, any part, nest, or egg of any such bird, or any product, whether or
not manufactured, which consists, or is composed in whole or part, of any
such bird or any part, nest, or egg thereof, included in the terms of the
conventions between the United States and Great Britain for the protection
of migratory birds concluded August 16, 1916 (39 Stat. 1702), the United
States and the United Mexican States for the protection of migratory birds
and game mammals concluded February 7, 1936, and the United States and the
Government of Japan for the protection of migratory birds and birds in
danger of extinction, and their environment concluded March 4, 1972.

Any bird( or parts thereof) that can be legally harvested by hunters is
legal to possess, ie turkey feathers, duck wings, etc.  It is not legal to
possess nests or eggs of these birds or any birds covered under the
Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

This was enacted to protect birds from many potential forms of human harm
to them including year round hunting, commercial feather collecting from
wild birds, sale of bird parts for jewelry (raptor talons), and egg
collecting.  Native Americans can get waivers from the Federal Government
in order to possess parts of birds covered under the Migratory Bird Treaty
Act for their religious ceremonies.   I also believe that educators could
follow the same process.  Native Americans typically get their eagle
feathers from birds that were found dead and turned over to the Federal

Punishment:  By being in violation of a Class B misdemeanor you could face
a fine up to $5,000.00 and six months in jail.  If you tried to sell the
bird or parts, that would go up to a felony and $250,000 and 2 years in
jail.  If you did this on either federal property or transported it from
another state, we go to a Lacey Act violation and talking about a major
felony.  I cannot speak for law enforcement agents, but most wouldn't
ticket you for a feather or two.  Remember that says most!  They may just
inform you that what you are doing is punishable and let you return the
feather to the environment.  The lady that gave Hillary Clinton the
dreamcatcher I believe was fined $1,500 for that 1 eagle feather.

Hope this helps.


Brian Van Druten
Forestry Technician
Alligator River NWR