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jimandre 12-02-2003 06:00 PM

Blue Chatterer
Does anyone know how much a full skin is worth?Or how much some of you would be willing to pay for one?

flytyer 12-02-2003 10:18 PM

If you can find one, it will run a good piece of change because they are so rare. The only legal source is zoo aviaries that had a bird die and this is neither a common species nor a common occurance for a zoo's birds. Expect to pay somewhere between $2500 and $4,000 possibly more for a full skin. sinlge feathers are being sold for $25.00 to $100.00 each. Personally, I will not pay that kind of money for a bird skin.

Remember that even the old masters such as Kelson, Hardy, Hale, Blacker, Price-Tannat, and Maxwell regulary subsituted Kingfisher for Chatterer (Cotinga) and spoke of doing so in their books because of how hard it was to get Chatterer and how expensive it was even then.

Use Kingfisher or better yet African Roller to substitute for Chatterer (Continga). You can also use small withe duck feathers or the white feathers from a Chinese Pheasant dyes Kingfisher Blue. Personally, I use African Roller because it has more of the desirable florescent-like blue feathers than the Kingfisher. Kingfisher is around $25.00 per skin and African Roller is about $35.00 per skin give or take a few dollars. This is far better than what a Cotinga skin is selling for provided you can find one.

speydoc 12-14-2003 08:10 PM

Where would one find African Roller? I am in B.C.

jimandre 12-14-2003 09:38 PM

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Is a fairy blue bird not an exellent sub,or perhaps a turquoise tanger...

flytyer 12-16-2003 09:47 PM


Yes, either one is an excellent substitute but neither is readily available. African Roller and Kingfisher are.


Fisherman's Feathers has roller skins available.

jimandre 12-16-2003 10:00 PM

I bought a bag of frozen dead birds a while back for 20$ can, and in the bag was turacos,1-tucan,snow cock, several soft bills of various colours,and one fairy bluebird in so-so condition,but very useable.......need some feathers?

flytyer 12-16-2003 11:56 PM


You are one lucky SOB to get that much larder for a mere $20.00. Do you know someone who works in a zoo aviary to be so fortunate?

speyflyfisher 12-17-2003 09:14 PM

Here is a link to an ebay auction on
a fairy-bluebird skin.

You can also purchase them from, but i don't know the price.


flytyer 12-17-2003 09:31 PM


I'm sorry, but I don't see why a person should pay $170.00+US for a fairy bluebird skin when the African Roller skin sells for between $12.00 and $25.00 US. The feathers have the same coloration and both are superb substitutes for chatterer. For my money, I'll buy the African Roller and save the $150.00+US and use it to buy other full-dressed featherwing materials or a new 2-hand rod.

natrix 12-18-2003 11:27 AM

This is insane
The list of endangered or threatened species is long and keeps growing. It seems like there is always someone or some group that despite this will try in their own self interest to obtain the hair feathers, claws, bones or other body parts so they can have something rare, and exotic. What is so special about a fly that it has to be made from the feather of a rare or endangered bird. This is insane. We spend allot of time talking about protecting wild stealhead and salmon and there habitats, and about preserving the ethics of our sport. I donít care how anyone tries to justify using some rare birds feather or even a semi rare substitute for it because a recipe calls for it just so you can have it, it contradicts the fundamental ethic that I believe this sport represents. If we donít practice the ethic of respect for other living things, their conservation and protection were no better than a bunch of poachers. Just because we buy a dead bird from an aviary doesnít relieve us of that responsibility. WALK THE TALK.


t_richerzhagen 12-18-2003 12:30 PM

Spotted Owl
Tastes just like chicken, so I am told. Birds and animals are not humans and do not deserve the same care and respect. However, they do tell us something important about what we are doing to our environment. If there is no spotted owl, their pristine old growth forest is gone and that may be important to us in the future. If there are no steelhead, we are damaging their environment or killing too many of them and need to reduce or stop harvest and work at restoring the environment.

BTW a dead bird is a dead bird. As long as it is legal to possess the feathers, I have no problem with that.

flytyer 12-18-2003 01:22 PM

African Roller and Asian Kingfisher are not endangered, nor threatened. In fact, they are very abundant species. And as for using the feathers of a bird that has died in an aviary, there is no endangering of anything from this. It does, however, lighten a person's bank account by quite a bit for these rare bird skins from an aviary. And many aviaries sell the skins of theie dead birds to help pay the bills to keep the other birds fed and healthy.

That said, Natrix you are correct, there is no need to use the feathers from rare birds. Jungle Cock is not a rare bird and it is also raised domestically, Blue-eared Pheasant (and its cousins the White-eared and Brown-eared) are raised domestically and readily available (although a tad high is price for some people), Argus Pheasant is another domestically raised bird, and Kori Bustard is another one that is raised domestically (unfortunately in my opinion the feathers are priced way too high because there are those who will pay whatever is being asked to get the feather). In other words, not all the rare bird feathers are endangering the birds.

One can tie a very nice classic full-dressed featherwing without using any exotic feathers at all that only someone who is very knowledgeable about the original feathers would know was tied with substitutes.

natrix 12-18-2003 03:17 PM

Spotted Owl
Tastes like chicken, eh.

Well hell lets put another tire on the fire, and fix us up some borax with them eggs.

Then we can sit on the boat ramp in our deck chairs and pile up the suckers on the bank with some beer cans, and some other trash. And leave it all for someone else to enjoy when we go home.


jimandre 12-18-2003 07:48 PM

Well I buy my birds from private avaries and zoo's,all of the birds I buy are legal.And they all die from natural causes or are cull's (birds that are deformed in one way or another).....

Most birds are not endangered, they are PROTECTED, by cites.
they are protected because they are in demand in one way or another.

I dont want to stirr the pot, but with all do respect natrix do you even tie? You havent used anything that is rare? Even most common birds are protected by cites, most water fowl ,pheasants,softbills and parrots.


speyflyfisher 12-18-2003 10:00 PM

king fisher vs lilac breasted roller
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I have both roller and kingfisher. I don't find the roller to be as colorful as kingfisher. It is also difficult for find feathers with the proper shape. I agree with the price issue with kingfishers costing around 20$. If you get to he point were your selling flies for a few hundred each then I can see poping for chatterer. Nothing looks as bright as chatterer. One alternative that I haven't stouped down too would be budgies from the local pet store.


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