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General Discussions This is a general purpose forum open to all topics related to Birds.

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Old 06-18-2009, 11:06 PM   #1


I am in need of someone's aide to help me identify the bird this feather came from. The feather is pictured on a dream catcher I constructed and I wish to know which bird it came form in order to classify the types of feathers for its sale. A educated and expert answer for its identification would be wonderful.
Thank you so much.

I was doing a bit of research and it seems to resemble the feather of a great horned owl, tawny owl, or an eastern screech owl. Perhaps a hawk of some sort. The feather is 8-9 inches long and is the one located in the middle of the three hanging down from the bottom of the dream catcher. Sorry for the lack of quality.

A photograph is shown below
Old 06-18-2009, 11:45 PM   #2
It's the primary or secondary flight feather from a turkey. Owl feathers have very soft edges, whereas the turkey feather is deeply curved and is very strong. Also, if you purchased this dreamcatcher or know of someone who is selling it, it is VERY illegal to use any feathers from wild birds. All wild birds (with the exception of some introduced and game species) are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and trade of any bird part, including feathers, is strictly prohibited by the Lacey Act.

The other feathers look like Guinea Fowl and Ring-necked Pheasant feathers, all very common domestic fowl.
Old 06-18-2009, 11:55 PM   #3
Is it strictly prohibited if all of the feathers are obtained by naturally found means? As in...I find them on the ground ONLY?

I actually made the dream catcher and a lot of the feathers I use I simply find on the ground.
Old 06-19-2009, 12:07 AM   #4
Thanks for the quick response by the way!
Old 06-19-2009, 12:09 AM   #5
It's impossible to enforce because it would require a warrant. I'll admit that I've got several feathers lying around that I've found, but the problem is that the authorities have no way of knowing if you found a naturally molted feather or if you actually shot a protected bird to acquire it. That's why it's illegal. Domestic birds (ie. turkeys, quail, pheasants, etc) are okay to have feathers of, but you can't sell any wild bird feathers at all.
Old 06-19-2009, 12:11 AM   #6
Okay so since its a turkey feather it is alright to sell but it would not be alright to sell an owl feather?
Old 06-19-2009, 12:15 AM   #7
Yep, provided the turkey is from a domestic bird and not a wild bird that was shot either legally or illegally, although proving one way or the other is pretty much impossible. Selling owl feathers (or any raptor) is waaay out the window. You can be fined up to $20K last time I checked for shooting something as common as a Red-tailed Hawk, and I would imagine the fine for selling the parts of protected species would be similar.

I'm getting my PhD in Wildlife Biology, and I've done my rounds in raptor rehabilitation for years, and you'd be surprised how many people just really have no idea that they can get in serious, serious trouble for this stuff.

The thing is that if it's just your own private dream catcher, they'd really REALLY want to hang you on something for them to go into your house and press charges. Like I said before, I have my own collection of wild feathers that I've found in my travels, so really the only time you'd be at risk is when you're trying to sell or purchase things like that.
Old 06-19-2009, 12:23 AM   #8
Wow, damn! Well I will make sure to keep those for myself then.

Yeah thats truly amazing. I'm just starting my education in wildlife biology and zoology so thats very interesting to find out. A sneak peak to what I will be learning.

Well thank you so much for your help, that was very informative!
Old 06-19-2009, 11:06 PM   #9
If you use feathers from a protected species like a raptor, you have to have a license or you will get fined. It is illegal to collect, sell, buy, or use real raptor feathers unless you have a permit or are a carded member of a recognized American Indian Tribe and can show that they are necessary in tribal rituals or culture. If you bought these feathers, I can guarantee that they are not raptor feathers. If you collected them, then you should not be posting pics of your dream catchers or you could get fined. State and federal game wardens don't get hot about some protected species, but they will go after people who mess with raptors and raptor feathers, alligators, deer without a license, and raccoons and coyotes if you are in Texas. I am a rehabber, and have a rehabber friend who took tail feathers from a barn where we hacked out barn owls and put them on his rear view mirror. He was pulled over and ordered to return them to the barn.

The small spotted ones are guinea down feathers. The barred and solid brown are either peacock wing or pheasant tail feathers. The striped ones could even be rock banded rooster or turkey tail feathers.
Old 06-19-2009, 11:10 PM   #10
Vanessa, we must have been posting at the same time! Sorry!

Nice to run into another rehabber, BTW! Best of luck on your degree. We sure need you!

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