I have a large hawk feather in my yard ...

Submitted by Nancy M. on 03/18/2003. ( )

I moved it to the garden a couple of feet away from where I found it so I can admire it while it lasts and so it won't get hit by the lawnmower. (Actually, considering yesterday's wind direction, it might have been in the garden originally.)
I am pretty sure that this is legal, although the yard is fully fenced. Maybe I should have blown it into the garden with compressed air rather than touching it? Or just mowed next to it so the wind from the mower would loft it to temporary safety. (Don't you just love the migratory bird laws?)
Am I "in possesion of" this feather or not? (Assuming it's still there, and not already snatched up and incorporated into a bird nest someplace nearby.)
I think this is about as close as a regular citizen can get when it comes to "possesing" feathers from protected species, ie: enjoy them before they blow away or become compost.

What do ya'all think?

Nancy M.

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This response submitted by roy heck on 03/18/2003. ( )



This response submitted by Alex on 03/18/2003. ( )

it is illegal to pocess even a feather, logic doesn't have anything to do with it> it is the LAW.

No Nancy

This response submitted by George on 03/18/2003. ( georoof@aol.com )

After the tap dancing, "possession" means to be in "physical control of". If the feather is subject to the whims of the environment, you certainly are not considered to be in "physical control" of it.


This response submitted by Bonniez on 03/18/2003. ( )

I hear ya Nancy.....LMAO! Admire it all ya want! I've been fortunate in the fact I feed the birds in my back yard and have enjoyed watching the migration process and the ones that have stayed through the winter. Love the woodpeckers, goldfinch, and morning doves especially but the pigeons drive me nuts. I have been fortunate the past two years as I have watched first hand (and so have the cats - from the window) as our local peregrine and hawks swoop right down on those pigeons and the hawk will continue to defeather and eat them while we watch. (As long as I stay still and at least 30 feet away. I just cringe that he may get one of the doves....oh well!

I have a last years bird nest in the shop.

This response submitted by JOhn C on 03/18/2003. ( )

Catch 22, its illegal to bother nest of protected birds.

2nd, the bird found a way in and built the nest, the pair has wintered over in the shop, 3 years in a row.

Now since the bird choose the place to build it and winter over

Am I in "possession"? I legally cannot remove it.

Beside the point of enjoying the little birds and thier anttices.

As long as you didn't pick it up Nancy

This response submitted by PA on 03/18/2003. ( )

There is nothing illegal about touching a bird on the ground. BUT if you actually picked it up to move it those four feet, you were in possession of the feather for that period of time.

I would be very wary of black helicopters in the air - they are especially looking for hawk fethers. I have heard that there is a special satellite in the air which has the ability to track migratory birds. When your hawk displaced the feather by moulting, the infrared readings changed enough that they sent an Awacs plane over your territory. I wouldn't even go outside for more than a few minutes unless you were disguised as someone else. Do you have any Red Wigs?

its very obvious Nancy!

This response submitted by Bill Yox on 03/18/2003. ( )

I cant believe nobody else suggested this to you, either...you had better open that gate to that fence! Hahaha, funny post you got there. You bird people are like that...lol. The odd thing to a Northerner (and Easterner) like me is...talking about a lawnmower in March!

You are BUSTED!

This response submitted by Raven on 03/18/2003. ( )

Not even because of the posession portion of the law - but you "transported or caused to be transported by any means" that feather. Turn yourself in and hope the courts are merciful ;)

Men in black are on the way!

This response submitted by Bill K. on 03/18/2003. ( klager@nvc.net )

constructive possession

1 : possession that exists by virtue of a right (as by title) rather than direct
occupancy or control

2 : the knowing ability and sometimes intent to exercise dominion and
control over something (as illegal drugs) either directly or through others

notorious possession
: possession (as in adverse possession) that is so conspicuous that it is
generally known by people in the vicinity of the property and so gives rise to
a presumption that the owner has notice of it

hostile possession
: possession (as in adverse possession) that is antagonistic to the claims of
all others (as a record owner) and that is carried out with the intention to
possess the property exclusively

I believe you are in "constructive possession", "notorious possession" and possibly even "hostile possession"!

"Hostile possession" sounds kinda serious, hope you have a good lawyer :-)

What if?

This response submitted by Mike on 03/18/2003. ( )

I understand the frustration of all who want to harmlessly use protected species and or their parts. But what if those laws didn't exist? Who's to say you or any one else didn't poach the bird? The laws are there for a very good reason, because we can't control ourselves or at least couldn't in the first half of the last century, thus the migratory bird treaty act. Pardon my rudeness but I just get sick of the bitching about laws that are intended to preserve and conserve the natural resources. That might make me sound like a bunny hugger, on the contrairy, I just shot 175 Snow Geese last week in Mo. to do my part for the conservation order and yes ever one of the birds were used. Enough, my blood pressure is rising.

Its A sign

This response submitted by Paul B on 03/18/2003. ( No ViruseThank you )

Nancy with what I have read about you and the help you give people I can assume its a gift or sign from above.The Indians placed high honors on this type of gift.Maybe its time you mounted a hawk.Who knows maybe the hawk likes your work.As long as you leave it in your garden Im sure the feather police have much more important things to do.Enjoy looking at it and go for the permit to mount one. Paul

Hi Mike

This response submitted by Bill Yox on 03/18/2003. ( )

Mike, dont get your blood pressure TOO high, we were all just having fun with nancy, we know her as the bird lady from out west. Most of this post is just tongue in cheek. Wow, you must have a real sore shoulder from the shootin'.

Hello. Mike? Anyone home

This response submitted by George on 03/18/2003. ( )

Now if that wasn't the latest dose of liberal crap I've ever heard, I sure don't need any more. Because it's a LAW doesn't mean it isn't stupid , and in this case, quite unenforceable had no one said anything probably. I think there was actually a Constitutional Amendment one time that outlawed liquor. Our government is guided by a LIVING document, the Constitution. When citizens of our country grow tired, or fed up, or even smart at times, laws are changed, but ONLY because someone, somewhere, sometime, said that sure is a dumcrap law. "Good conservations laws" were the reason hundreds of thousands of acres along with homes and businesses were destroyed by wildfires out west. "Good conservation laws" make criminals out of farmers in California for unwittingly plowing ground that has migrant endangered mice living there. "Good conservation laws" make it illegal to shoot doves over bait, yet Congress is having a tough time deciding how a farmers crop left in the field can be hunted over, but a new crops seeds can't be planted and hunted over. Tell the folks in the nortwest how "good conservation laws" protect the artificially introduced wolves, but don't protect the mule deer, elk, and even cattle and sheep that have existed there for years. Because it's "THE LAW" neither makes it good nor smart at times.

Lawn Mower?

This response submitted by Kurt on 03/19/2003. ( eemerelease@hotmail.com )

First of all, if the feather arrived on it's own and you are not preventing it from leaving on it's own - then it's like watching the whole bird sitting on your fence. Although you will need to watch out for the fiber-optic cameras around your property recording all your activities (lol).

Lawn Mower? I still have 18" of snow left on the yard, 60° highs for the past 4 days - I may not see the yard before July!

i think the end is near.

This response submitted by Melon Head on 03/19/2003. ( )

George I hate to say this but , you touched my heart .That passion also lives in me.I never thought i would say it but i totally agree with you.!

Oh no! ... I saw a black chopper yesterday!

This response submitted by Nancy M. on 03/19/2003. ( )

And all this time I just thought they were watching that group of alcoholics and anti-government survivalists that live down the road and support themselves (I suspect) with several "herb" gardens growing somewhere in the forest. (Among other things.)
I should have known better.
I will be leaving my gate open from now on, starting immediately!
Constructive, notorious, hostile possesion ... OH MY!
Boy, am I EVER grateful that the pair of bald eagles gave up on remodeling an old hawk's nest that's way up near the top of one of my fir trees.
Whew! Dodged THAT bullet! I don't THINK they moulted any feathers inside the fence, but what if ....
EGADS! There might be undocumented eagle poop within the fenced borders of my property, and thereby under my dominion and control!
I don't think my federal permit allows me to have it ...
I'm doomed.

Nancy M.

Why not adopt the Dutch system

This response submitted by Birdman on 03/19/2003. ( wvangestel@hetnet.nl )

I was wondering, has it ever been proposed to adopt the Dutch system of mounting protected birds in the US of A?
In Holland, a person who finds a dead protected bird and wants to have it mounted, he takes it to a nearby police station. If it has died of natural causes or in an accident, and not been poached, he'll get a so-called "transport-permit". With this permit the bird can be taken to a licensed taxidermist (there are about 70 of them in Holland), who will mount it and put a numbered tag on it. With this tag, the mount is legalized and can be posessed by private collectors and given away as well, but selling them is not allowed. The taxidermists have to send their administration of the tag numbers they used to the government on a yearly base, so all legally mounted specimens can be registrated in a central database.
Of course, this system is not air-tight, and cheating is not that difficult. After all, the average policeman is hardly qualified to determine the cause of death of a bird. I used this system only once, and when I told the cop he was supposed to check the cause of death, he was wondering whether he was on Candid Camera. However, there is no evidence that poaching birds for mounting happens more often than occasionally, and no bird species has got in trouble because it is interesting to collectors of taxidermy. I have no reason to think that this would be different in the USA. Also, in the States the system could be improved by adding that the bird has to be checked by a F&W official before it goed to the taxidermist. Those guys are much more knowledgable that the average Dutch cop (and we don't have a F&W agency here). Of course this would mean more work for F&W and the police, but judging from the fact that even a simple mounted mallard needs paperwork at your side of the Atlantic, they seem to like burocratic procedures. Furthermore, I don't think Americans would mind to pay an extra 30 bucks or so to have the bird checked, if that means they can legalize a found-dead owl or hawk.


Is eagle poop considered a bird part?

This response submitted by Bill K. on 03/19/2003. ( )

You best call the local warden on that one. You could be in deep sh....

Holland police ?

This response submitted by rickettchade wabbit on 03/21/2003. ( )

Holland police must have to go to Vet school so they can tell how birds died , Huuum?


This response submitted by justin on 04/10/2003. ( wildlove45@hotmail.com )

this is too funny if they ever meet my aunt they would die trying to read a warrant pick it up take it inside.. enjoy it you don't know what it is it was a feather your cat ate the bird what ever you have to say.. but respect it i have ben fighting these laws for years and we never have a problem

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