Interested in American bald eagle feather uses? Find out what bald eagles feathers have been used for and how you can obtain them…
The feathers of the American bald eagle have been used for various religious and cultural traditions by the Native Americans for hundreds of years. Throughout history they were used in special ceremonies like marriage and they were even believed to have some magical curative powers.
The fact that Native Americans have been using the feathers of this national bird for various purposes necessitated the government to regulate a constant supply of bald eagle feathers to the Native American community.
The hunting, trading, catching, and barter, import and export of American bald eagles is banned. This means they cannot be captured to make use of their feathers by anyone in the United States. In the previous years the massive wave of urbanization has led to heavy losses of the natural habitat of American bald eagles. Chemical exposure and animal husbandry have been other causes that have led to the decreasing population of bald eagles. The reduction in numbers was significant enough to label the bald eagle as an endangered species. The government thus passed the Bald Eagle Protection Act 1940 aimed at restoring the diminishing population of the bird.
How to obtain American bald eagle feathers
The only legal way to gain possession of bald eagle feathers is through the National Eagle Repository. This center has been serving as the collection point of dead American bald eagles. The center picks up birds that have died due to electrocution, natural accidents, collisions, shooting, trapping and other natural causes.
When the repository receives an eagle they note the condition of the feathers and try and determine its age. Then they assign a number to each bird which helps to keep track of things.
In some cases a bird has several of its feathers missing. In this case the repository adds feathers that it has left over to these birds. The birds are then frozen until the center receives an order. Once ordered they are dispatched for delivery.
Not everybody has the freedom to obtain bald eagle feathers from the repository. Rather you have to be a member of a federally recognized tribe in order to obtain a permit from the FWS that allows you to collect the eagle feathers. Only those tribes of Native Americans that require American bald eagle feathers for religious ceremonies are allowed to acquire them through legal means from the repository.
Anyone looking to obtain possession of bald American eagle feathers needs to present a completed application that you can obtain from the FWS Regional Migratory Bird Permit Office closest to you. Along with this you need to supply them with a certification of tribal enrollment that is issued by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Tribal Enrollment Office.
You need to mention whether you require the feathers of the bald eagle or the gold eagle on your application form. Furthermore you have to specify whether you need the whole eagle, its feathers or certain specific parts.