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feathers-msg - 4/19/17


Use of feathers in the Middle Ages and today. Treating them.


NOTE: See also the files: fur-msg, horn-msg, glues-msg, craft-supplies-msg, bone-msg, beeswax-msg, ear-wax-msg, fish-skin-tan-msg, ivory-msg, urine-uses-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org



Date: Tue, 29 Aug 2000 17:06:39 EDT

From: <HRAFNASDOT at aol.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: seeking ... animal parts


Please, please, please contact your local center first!  Be it zoo or rescue

center or museum of natural history or government office.  It is illegal to

be in possession of any feathers that are not commercially produced UNLESS it

is of certain species (i.e., turkey or chicken).  This includes road kill and

"found" feathers of any sort.  Certain people(s) such as Native Americans,

are allowed to possess these items for religious reasons, but there is

paperwork involved. It may vary from state to state and especially country

to country.  Those items that are not within the legal limits are confiscated

and destroyed.  It would be quite heart breaking to have a beautiful piece of

art destroyed because of this.


Asa of Loch Ruadh,

Who has friends who worked with raptors and other birds at the zoo and

couldn't get even one feather for just the same reasons as




Date: Tue, 29 Aug 2000 16:58:03 -0500 (CDT)

From: "Pixel, Queen of Cats" <pixel at hundred-acre-wood.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: RE: seeking ... animal parts


On Tue, 29 Aug 2000, Darlene Cullor wrote:

> It is that way here in Alaska as well, and the Ravens are a dime a dozen

> here in Anchorage in the winter.  They are federally protected and you have

> to have special permits to even collect feathers NOT attached to the bird

> any longer.


> Even if they leave them for you! hehehe


> Lady Bianca


OTOH, crow feathers look awfully like raven feathers. So, I imagine, could

dyed black chicken feathers.





Date: Tue, 29 Aug 2000 16:11:21 -0600

From: Sheron Buchele/Curtis Rowland <foxryde at verinet.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: RE: seeking ... animal parts


Our household is called RavenFlight.  We use dyed chicken feathers for our

decorations on things.


I agree though, it does lack a certain cachet.





Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2000 13:02:30 -0400

From: Warren & Meredith Harmon <silveroak at juno.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: seeking ... animal parts


Here's the general scoop:


Both raven feathers and vulture feathers are federally protected.

Vultures are under the Raptor Protection Act, ravens and crows are under

the Songbird Protection Act.  It is illegal to have ANY feathers of any

of these birds - even if you've picked them up off the ground.  Now, will

the gov't beat down your door if you *do* find some feathers, but you

can't buy them, nor can you ask the raptor rehab center for them - they

can't give them to you.





From the fb "Artisans of the Society for Creative Anachronism" group:


Matthew Pius

April 16 at 6:00am

Anyone here know about working with feathers?

Thanks to our resident feline killing machines, I have a small pile of feathers (and a foot which was disposed of) from a small bird. They look relatively clean with stiff spines and barbs.


If I wanted to use these for embellishment of something, what should I do to clean them? Is there something I need to do so they won't degrade?


Dyan Johnson

Apply Mite spray for birds. Store loose feathers and any creations in a container and keep them dust free.

April 16 at 6:08am


Gail Kellogg Hope

Check if they are legal to keep. If so, you can put them in the freezer to kill any live mites, then use spray. Steam clean & repair any splits with your fingers (it's like preening).

April 16 at 6:11am


Barbara Ebel

Stick them in a ziplock bags and freeze IMMEDIATELY. You do not want mites. After a few days in the freezer, then worry about what next. :)

April 16 at 8:23am


Heidi Woordhuis

Keep them out of direct sunlight or they'll quickly go brittle. And the freezing.

April 16 at 9:23am


Kathy Parker

If they are wild birds, it is illegal to keep any part of the bird, including the feathers and nest. See the MBTA. Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

April 16 at 10:16am


Charles Mellor

All I know about feathers is that moths will eat them if they get a chance.

April 16 at 10:21am


JoAnn 'Olwen' Turner

The migratory bird act only applies to, wait for it, migratory birds, and some raptors like eagles. There are a few surprises on it, like mourning doves, but it does not, for example, apply to corvids like crows or jays, nor to quail and pheasants. It's a good idea to be aware of which species are listed, though. The main ones that might result in legal penalties are raptors, including eagles and some owls. If you find feathers in your own yard and sue them for your own purposes, it's not likely to result in a fine, but if they're eagle or owl feathers, possession is the only thing that matters, not how you came into possession of them or what you plan to do with them. The Migratory Bird Act to some extent applies to Canada and Mexico because these birds, again, wait for it, migrate, and don't have any respect for those darn imaginary lines humans keep trying to draw on the ground.

April 16 at 12:16pm


Brandy Stier

It does apply to corvids and many other species that do not necessarily migrate through out their entire range. Common exceptions are rock doves, starlings, old world sparrows, and game birds such as pheasants.


We deal with this question frequently in the wildlife rehabilitation world. Permits are available to allow for scavenging and use but they can require a lot of work. If it's an interest, get in touch with your regional federal fish and wildlife office.

April 16 at 10:34pm


Kelsey McCleskey

This is a common misconception, JoAnn 'Olwen' Turner! As Brandy said, basically, the only things not on it are game birds (can only hunt in their designated season, but legal to posses feathers at all times) and invasive nuisance species (house sparrows, city pigeons, starlings, etc).

April 16 at 11:18pm


Kaðlín Konálsdottir

Feather tend to have mites so you want to bury them in an insecticide powder for a few days to kill off any parasites. Otherwise, make sure they are not on the list of endangered or migratory birds.

April 16 at 12:56pm


Brittany Hofmann

Freeze for a while to kill mites, then (for the foot at least) pack in borax to desiccate any flesh.

April 16 at 9:28pm


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org