If You Find a Bald Eagle Feather, Don’t Keep It

The bald eagle is America’s national bird, and when a bird watcher spots one, the feeling is like no other. So, let’s say you go bird watching, and as you watch a bald eagle soar lazily through the sky, you see a feather fall off. You rush to find the feather where it lands. Can you keep it? The fact is, if you don’t want to pay thousands of dollars in fines and face possible jail time, don’t touch the eagle feather. That’s because the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act of 1940 prohibits “pursuing, shooting, shooting at, poisoning, wounding, killing, capturing, trapping, collecting, molesting, or disturbing a bald or golden eagle.” It’s also illegal to possess, sell, purchase, barter, offer to sell, offer to purchase or barter, or transport any bald or golden eagle — dead or alive — or any part of the nest or egg. That means you can’t touch a feather, even if it’s already on the ground. A single violation could result in up to a year in prison and a $5,000 fine.