4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
MBTA is the short for Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
The MBTA was “enacted in an era when many bird species were threatened by the commercial trade in birds and bird feathers.” ~~Wikipedia
Large numbers of birds were being killed for sport and the fashion industry. Because of this, it is now illegal to keep the feathers you may find on the ground. And the government is serious about this, even today…
The possession of feathers and other parts from MBTA-protected birds without a permission is prohibited. The only exceptions are the feathers of legally-hunted waterfowl or other migratory gamebirds, which may be possessed by hunters. This prohibition extends to molted feathers and to feathers taken from road- or window-killed birds.
~~From the Feather Atlas
I can see a need for this. There could be nothing wrong with a child picking up a feather and keeping it among his or her special stuffs. You would think. But, if such an exemption was made, people would take advantage of that loophole and the Treaty being rendered useless.
Recently, we were made aware of a couple little violators, but if they would be arrested by the government authorities, those authorities, in turn would be violating the MBTA themselves.
This is a new Barn Swallow nest we found in the garage and even though our duck feathers are abundant, I wonder where they found the barred one. After asking around, it is suspected it is a breast feather of a Great Horned Owl.
I tried figuring this out in my head if it is a second brood for our Faithful couple and it seemed just a little too soon. Also, these Barn Swallows are not quite as used to us. I feel sad we cannot monitor this nest, but alas, we were not able to monitor most of the other nests on our property, so that’s ok. We were given a special blessing to watch the other one up close.
This nest location is a smart one for the Swallows. It is virtually predator proof.