The following information is for all Federally (Bureau of Indian Affairs) enrolled Native Americans who want to obtain feathers, parts, or carcasses of non-eagle/migratory birds (i.e. hawks, falcons) for religious and cultural purposes:
For decades, Native Americans have used various natural resources and wildlife for subsistence, as well as for cultural and religious purposes. Feathers remain one of the most sought after items by tribal cultural and religious practitioners. To assist in the legal acquisition of federally regulated migratory bird feathers, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (Service) established the National Eagle Repository in Denver, Colorado. This repository serves as a legal source of eagles and eagle feathers for qualified, federally enrolled tribal members for use in religious ceremonies. Read more information about obtaining eagle feathers.
At one time, this repository also distributed other protected and regulated migratory birds, like hawks and falcons. However distribution of these non-eagle species was discontinued in the late 1990s. Since then, the Service has looked for ways to help meet tribal needs for non-eagle feathers.
To maintain and improve upon our trust relations with the Native American community, the Southwest Region of the Service has now established a two-year, non-eagle feather repository pilot program with both tribal and non-tribal partners: the Comanche Nation Ethno-Ornithological Initiative (SIA) based in Cyril, Oklahoma (http://comancheeagle.org/), and Liberty Wildlife Rehabilitation Foundation, Scottsdale, Arizona (http://www.libertywildlife.org/non-eagle-feather-repository-index/non-eagle-feather-repository/). Both partners have signed individual Memorandums of Agreement (MOA) and have been permitted by the Service to salvage, receive, and distribute regulated migratory bird feathers, deceased birds and parts from Service permitted zoos, falconers, rehabilitators, etc., to federally enrolled tribal members across the country. This pilot is beginning in October 2010 and will be evaluated for two years. The permit and MOA do not allow for the take of any protected migratory birds, and the majority of feathers will likely be obtained through naturally molted feathers.
For detailed information, please review the attached documents, as well as call or email the points of contact that are listed.
USFWS Southwest Non-Eagle Feather Repository
The SIA and Liberty Non-Eagle Repository Forms below are fillable PDFs. For questions please email the Non-Eagle Feather Repository Coordinator or the Native American Liaison at firstname.lastname@example.org