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Non-Eagle Feather Repositories

 

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Requesting Non-Eagle Feathers Fact Sheet | Donating and Sending Items Fact Sheet

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. 

Thank you.

Stories

 

Non-eagle feather fans
A wide variety of feathers are important in Native American
cultural and religious practices. Left to Right: Woodpecker feathers on rattle, American kestrel tail fan, Red-tailed hawk fan, Anhinga tail fan with macaw feather, Scissor-tailed flycatcher fan, Red-shafted flicker tail fan. Photo credit :USFWS.

Non-eagle Feather Repositories Receive Grants from Fish & Wildlife Service

April 2014
Two non-eagle feather repositories established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (Service) Southwest Region have been awarded Service migratory bird program grants to assist in providing legally obtained bird feathers and parts for Native American cultural, ceremonial and religious needs.

Learn more...
Read more about the non-eagle feather repositories

 

Non-Eagle Feather Repositories Established in Southwest

July 2013
(Southwest Region – Arizona and Oklahoma) After a successful two-year pilot, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) Southwest Region issued a permit enabling a non-eagle repository and distribution effort to continue on a permanent basis. The pilot was first approved in an effort to assist in meeting an unfilled need by Native Americans for feathers and other parts of migratory birds other than eagles for religious and cultural practices and beliefs.

In 2010, the Service’s Southwest Region established the pilot in partnership with the Comanche Nation Ethno-Ornithological Initiative, in Cyril, Oklahoma, and Liberty Wildlife Rehabilitation Foundation, in Scottsdale, Arizona. Both partners have successfully administered their facilities and achieved our mutual goals.

Over the two-year period of operation, the Oklahoma and Arizona Repositories have successfully distributed hundreds of feathers, parts and whole bird species – ranging from anhinga to red-tailed hawks – to Native Americans across the country representing more than 200 Tribes.

The Southwest Region continues to work with six different tribes to establish tribally managed eagle aviaries. The Region also continues to work with the Service’s National Eagle Repository to provide eagle feathers, parts and whole birds for cultural purposes. To learn more about our partnerships and collaborative work with tribes, visit our website at www.fws.gov/southwest

Learn more about Requesting Non-Eagle Feathers
Learn more about Donating and Sending Items to the Repositories

Learn more about the non-eagle feather repositories at www.fws.gov/southwest/NAL/feathers.html or by contacting the Service’s Migratory Bird Office at 505/248-7882, or by email at permitsR2mb@fws.gov

For more information on SIA in Oklahoma, visit: http://comancheeagle.org/home.html
To learn about Liberty Wildlife in Arizona, visit: www.libertywildlife.org

For more information on how to obtain eagle feathers from the National Eagle Repository, visit:  http://www.fws.gov/le/national-eagle-repository.html

 

The Comanche Nation Ethno Ornithological Initiative

SIA members and USFWS employees pose for photograph.  

From left to right: LaDonna Harris, Bill Voelker, Director of SIA, Benjamin Tuggle, Southwest Regional Director USFWS, Joe Early, NAL USFWS and Troy - Co-Director of SIA, pose for a picture after the signing of the Non-Eagle Feather Repository MOA. Photo credit: L. Whittle, USFWS.

Establishment of the First Non-Eagle Feather Repository

(Albuquerque, New Mexico) Today, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (Service), in cooperation with the Comanche Nation of Oklahoma, established a two-year pilot, non-eagle feather repository to provide Native Americans with a permitted source to obtain non-eagle feathers from federally regulated migratory birds for religious and cultural use. 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 legal acquisition of federally regulated migratory bird feathers, the 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. 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. In cooperation with the Comanche Nation, the Service is issuing a permit to establish the first Native American-managed non-eagle feather repository. A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) and a permit were signed today enabling the Comanche Nation Ethno-Ornithological Initiative (SIA) based in Cyril, Okla., to receive and distribute regulated migratory bird feathers, deceased birds and parts from zoos, falconers, rehabilitators and other permitted sources to federally enrolled tribal members across the country. Learn more...

 

Dr. Tuggle and Megan Mosby pose for photo  
Dr. Tuggle and Megan Mosby, Executive Director, Liberty Wildlife, at the Native American Fish & Wildlife Society Southwest Region Conference, Phoenix, AZ. Photo credit: Joe early, USFWS.
 

Two-year Pilot Program Provides Opportunity to Establish Non-Eagle Feather Repositories.

The Comanche Nation Ethno-Ornithological Initiative (SIA) based in Cyril, Okla., became the first permitted and tribally managed non-eagle feather repository in the country. Now in cooperation with Liberty Wildlife Rehabilitation Foundation, Scottsdale, Arizona, a second repository is permitted. Under the agreement established through a two-year pilot, these entities will work together and with the Service to assist Native Americans throughout the country to lawfully acquire migratory birds, their parts and feathers for religious and cultural purposes.

Learn more....
Questions and Answers

Read more about this program at Native American Connections

 

 

Non eagle feather repository
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 featherreposit@fws.gov

SIA

Comanche Nation Non-Eagle Feather Repository Application

Liberty

Liberty Wildlife Rehabilitation Foundation Non-Eagle Feather Repository Application

Requesting Non-Eagle Feathers Fact Sheet

Requesting Non-Eagle Feathers Fact Sheet

Donating and Sending Items fact Sheet

Donating and Sending Items Fact Sheet

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Last updated: September 7, 2018