Wednesday, July 11, 2007

About the MBTA

Just in case some of you are unclear about the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, [which played an important role in the Pale Male story, as readers of my book may remember] website reader Liz Pomper sends in the following clarification:

Hi Marie,

You may want to clarify John Blakeman's recent letter, which implies that only raptors have federal protection. In fact, ALL migratory birds are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which prohibits one "to pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill, attempt to take, capture or kill, possess, offer for sale, sell, offer to purchase, purchase, deliver for shipment, ship, cause to be shipped, deliver for transportation, transport, cause to be transported, carry, or cause to be carried by any means whatever, receive for shipment, transportation or carriage, or export, at any time, or in any manner, any migratory bird, included in the terms of this Convention . . . for the protection of migratory birds . . . or any part, nest, or egg of any such bird." (

That means that it is ILLEGAL under U.S. law to even possess a feather of any migratory bird, although clearly this provision isn't enforced too heavily. I would suspect someone using feathers in artwork, though, would run into some trouble.

A list of protected species can be found here:

Successfully advocating for the passage of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act was one of the earliest accomplishments of the National Audubon Society (then the National Association of Audubon Societies).