A Vase Full of Feathers

Usually in Latvia, they are the feathers of such birds like crows and pigeons. You can see them in the photo. I have quite a few already. If my late husband found a feather he always brought it back home for me. Feathers also became a way of communicating between us now that he is gone. One day I returned home to find two feathers right at my garden gate and I have never found one there so I knew it was his way of saying hello and of course, providing me with lovely feathers. Therefore I looked online to find something more about feather collecting.

Collecting things or objects out of doors has become a natural habit for some people. Sort of like a child would come home with frogs, rocks, or other things in their pockets. As well as picking wildflowers for moms. I too was one to pick wildflowers for my mom and even my dad in the Catskill Mountains of New York State in the summers I spent there. So I suppose since I am still and always will be a child at heart I continue doing things that bring me joy like collecting bird feathers and rocks. 

Getting back to bird feathers it is a fact that two of the more commonly collected items are both feathers and nests. It is good that at this time I live where I do because can you imagine that I found out there are two laws that make the collection of these things illegal. The two laws are the Lacey Act of 1900 and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. These were put into action to help save many bird species from extinction. However, as you can see these are very old laws and I think it might be time to make some changes, after all, I do no harm in picking up bird feathers.

In Victorian times, the feathers of birds were often used on hats. However, for fashionable ladies it was not enough to have a hat with feathers but some even wanted wings and even hats with stuffed birds. Now that I think is really taking things much too far and does harm birds. Luckily this is no longer the fashion. Another awful thing is that there were times when people cruelly killed birds and plucked the feather from them.   Due to things like these two women Harriet Hemenway and her cousin Minna fought hard to get the two before mentioned laws passed. In this case, I say well-done ladies.

So according to the laws which apply mostly to migratory native birds of the U.S., it is illegal to collect birds or anything that belongs to birds like eggs, nests, and feathers. Those who can legally collect these things are people who have the right permits from state and/or federal governments. As extreme as this might seem we can be glad that these laws were passed because of the wild fashion crazes and other harming birds otherwise today in the U.S. you couldn’t delight in the sight of birds like herons, egrets, bluebirds, and hummingbirds among others.


What do you think?


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