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flyfisha1 05-13-2003 08:08 AM

Legality of offering parrot and macaw feathers for sale?
I'm sure there are several on the forum that can answer this question for me: Is it legal to offer feathers from a parrot or macaw for sale in the US? A co-worker of mine owns several parrots and macaws, all captive-bred of course, and has a surplus of feathers from normal molting periods. Many of these are in very good condition, and I've seen that certain feathers are used in traditional patterns, so I thought I'd just ask the question. The birds in question are the Yellow-Naped Amazon Parrot, African Grey Parrot, Blue and Gold Macaw, and Military Macaw. In addition, I have access to feathers from just about every species kept as a companion bird through ties with breeding facilities. If it's not legal, fine, I'm not trying to start a business or get anyone upset, just trying to understand what the consequences are, and if anyone would be interested or has any requests. TIA...

By the way, these are not native species, if that matters.

Eddie 05-13-2003 10:13 AM

I had an aquaintance who had a peregrine falcon. He said it would be illegal for me to even posses a feather. Even if he gave it to me. He said the same for an eagle feather even if I found it. I don't know the laws, but I bet that they are similar. It will be interesting to find what others know.

Steelheader69 05-13-2003 11:05 AM

There is a website
I'll see if I can find it. It tells of all CITIES animals and what you can/can not possess. Gives you all the details. If it's not on the list I do assume you can possess.

Ask Flytyer, he is very knowledgeable on this. He's given me alot of insight in this area.

PS, a bit off topic. But if Flytyer does look at this, I do already have the Jorgeson book you mentioned, so I'm good to go. Thanks. Will try to collect others as I can find them.

DFix 05-13-2003 11:50 AM

Here's an overview

flyfisha1 05-13-2003 01:10 PM

If I'm reading their "cite" properly, it looks like the military macaw is the only one of the bunch that would be off-limits; the other three are okay.

BobK 05-13-2003 03:35 PM

Nawww... they are all illegal!
So just send me all of the feathers, and I will be glad to dispose of 'em for you!:rolleyes:


fredaevans 05-13-2003 04:56 PM

Actually a very cool question.
Jim (JDJones) Jones Realtor's husband works at the Animal forensics laboratory in Ashland, Or; the only one of it's kind in the world.

Bounced this question off the folks there and bit of a mixed answer. In general, parrot feathers are ok to own/use, and with the proper permits sell. (Bob Meiser has a web link to the Sysqu. Aviary on his web site; suspect they have all sorts of exotic/legal feathers.) The universal point though, is they would not recommend trying to sell them out side of the US.

As noted above any "raptor" feather are a HUGE NO NO.

Incredible laboratory; they have a store house full of DNA samples from around the world on specific endangered animals/birds/etc. Someone finds you with something 'untoward' and they can probably tell the Judge exactly what animal/bird it came from. Not just the type of animal/bird, but the specific one the feather/fur came from.

Back to the parrot thing. Apparently these getting turned in for testing is not unusual at all. And most disapointing to the arresting officer when found to be legal to own.

SparseHairHackl 05-13-2003 09:11 PM

Change of/off topic...

Since Fred mentioned the USFWS Forensics Lab in Ashland, I thought I would point out that the lab Director (assuming he is still there), Ken Goddard, is a great speaker for club events. Years ago when my wife planned the Clark-Skamania Flyfishers annual banquet, we had him for the speaker. Fascinating! He is also an accomplished fiction author, drawing on his experiences with animal forensics.


flytyer 05-14-2003 12:24 AM


It is perfectly legal to own and sell these feathers in the U.S. without a CITIES permit, including the Military Macaw. You do have to have documentation that the feathers came from domesticated birds (pets, zoo, or aviary birds) to be able to legally sell them.

To sell these feathers, you need not provide the buyer with a certificate of domesticity; however, you need to have the documentation that the feathers came from domesticated birds in your records to avoid problems.

As Fred posted, raptor feathers are highly illegal to posses unless you are a Native American who is a member of a federally recognized Indian Tribe. Possessin a single raptor feather can result in a fine of up to $10,000.00 and/or 10 years in federal prison as well. Defintely not worth the risk.

fredaevans 05-14-2003 01:19 AM

FT is correct in his use of the term "documentation."
Permits are not required but, as FT notes above, having the documentation showing the feathers came from a legit. source is a must. My use of the word 'permit' was incorrect.

flyfisha1 05-14-2003 06:15 AM

I understand. How do I go about getting the required documentation?
BTW, not that it really matters, but I happen to work with a guy that's a member of the Lakota Indian Tribe... I know he's got some eagle feathers, but there's no way he'd ever part with them.

DFix 05-14-2003 08:06 AM

Here's my take, without doing diligent research.

Statement of Domesticity, on letterhead from caretaker agency, kept on file with caretaker for generation to end-user by date of shipment; possibly sworn and affirmed (notarized.)

flytyer 05-15-2003 12:33 AM


You do not need to have it placed on letterhead if the feathers come from an aviary, zoo, pet store, or breeder it is best to have what feathers (including what type and how many of each type) you got from them listed on their letterhead. However, fir feathers from friends, relatives, etc. who do not have a business dealing in the birds, all you need is a list of the feathers (including how many of what type from what bird) that you received from the person and the date you received them along with the person's signature.

Notarizing is nice but it is not necessary for documenting the feathers are from a domesticated source. Likewise, a picture of the feathers is also nice but not needed.

As you can see, documentation is really very easy to get.

flyfisha1 05-15-2003 06:30 AM

Flytyer - Thanks for the info; that makes things much less complicated than they were beginning to look. Still don't have any photos of the feathers, since the guy keeps forgetting to bring them in (he has a large bucket full of them, from 5 species of birds), but I'm going to call him at home this evening and remind him to put them in his car tonight. Heck, I'll post some pictures of the "contributing birds" as well. Like I said, I can probably get feathers from just about every species of parrot, macaw, and relatives thereof that's kept in captivity for companionship. Can't promise that I can get the exact feathers that people are looking for, but if someone has a request I can see about helping them out.

DFix 05-15-2003 08:26 AM

It's just a nice gesture that you offered, which is enough. Thanks.

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