Liberty Wildlife Non-Eagle Feather Repository
Giving new life to feathers that can no longer fly
In 2010 Liberty Wildlife in partnership with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service established the Liberty Wildlife Non-Eagle Feather Repository (LWNEFR).
Our Mission is to provide Native Americans belonging to a federally recognized tribe with a legal source of non-eagle feathers for religious and ceremonial purposes.
- The LWNEFR recognizes the significance of feathers to Native Americans and will operate the LWNEFR with sensitivity to their cultural and religious needs.
- The LWNEFR will distribute feathers equitably on a first come first serve basis to Native Americans belonging to a federally recognized tribe.
- The LWNEFR will provide a legal source of feathers to Native Americans belonging to a federally recognized tribe.
- The LWNEFR will provide feathers to Native Americans belonging to a federally recognized tribe at no cost.
- The LWNEFR will ensure that all feathers donated to the LWNEFR come from legally authorized sources.
- The LWNEFR will ensure that all feathers will be handled and stored in a manner that will maintain their integrity.
- The LWNEFR will continue to improve its ability to distribute feathers in a timely and culturally sensitive manner.
The LWNEFR is actively acquiring, storing and distributing the following species; hawks, owls, falcons, condors, vultures, corvids (ravens, crows, jays & magpies), water birds, shorebirds, upland birds, songbirds and others.
Important Application Information
- Feathers are only provided for personal ceremonial and religious purposes.
- Applicants must be enrolled members of a federally recognized tribe.
- Applicants must be 18 years old.
- Applicants must include a photocopy of their tribal enrollment certificate, letter, or card with their first application. Following applications do not need proof of enrollment.
- Only mailed, signed and dated original applications will be accepted; we cannot accept faxed or emailed applications.
- Only one application can be submitted at a time, applicants must wait three months from the time they receive an order before they can submit a new application.
- Carcasses cannot be shipped to P.O. boxes, a physical address is necessary, as well as a phone number to schedule FedEx delivery.
- If you have submitted an application and have moved, you must provide your new shipping address.
- A prison authority must submit applications on behalf of Native American inmates and provide a letter approving the application.
- Incomplete or incorrect applications can be denied without notice. In most cases an attempt will be made to inform the applicant of the incomplete or incorrect application.
- We encourage all applicants to contact us Robert Mesta (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mare Vandyke (email@example.com), before submitting an application to check on the availability of the feathers you want and discuss possible substitution if they are not available. This will reduce the wait time and expedite your application.
Tips to make the Application Process Easier
- Before you start filling out your application, read the entire application over carefully, to avoid mistakes.
- If you have any questions about the application process or the species you would like to order, call or email for answers before filling out the application. This will avoid delays and get you your feathers sooner.
- Take your time and print or write carefully when filling out your application, if we can’t read it we can’t fill it.
- Before you mail your completed application, make a photocopy for your files for future reference, if needed.
- The LWNEFR does not provide notification that your application was received, if you have questions about the status of your application contact the LWNEFR office periodically to tract its progress.
- Most donations to the LWNEFR are carcasses. Applications for carcasses are filled relatively quickly.
- Very few whole tails are donated to the LWNEFR, therefore, applications for them will take some time to fill.
- We do our best to match 12 loose tail feather applications, but they will not be a matching set.
- The LWNEFR always sends out the best feathers in our inventory, but nature is not perfect. If you request a “pristine” carcass, tail, or matching sets, you may be waiting for a long time.
- The LWNEFR has a good selection of loose wing feathers, applications for them are filled quickly.
- Due to their rarity contact us before ordering anhinga’s, scissor-tail flycatchers and caracaras for wait times.
- Depending on demand, our inventory changes from day to day, so we do not provide inventory species lists.
Click on title below for LWNEFR application in PDF format:
Donating carcasses, feathers and other parts to the Non-Eagle Feather Repository
- The LWNEFR is permitted to receive non-eagle birds from legally authorized sources, this includes but is not limited to; carcasses, wings, tails, talons, and bones in good condition.
- If you’re donating carcasses and other parts that are not dry, freeze before shipping.
- Place carcasses in sealed plastic bags, with care not to damage the tail, and pack in insulated foam or sturdy cardboard boxes with insulation. Include at least one frozen gel pack.
- When storing or preparing carcasses for shipment, please wrap tails to protect them from damage during transit.
- Frozen carcasses ship by FedEx or UPS. Express/overnight is not necessary if the frozen carcasses are shipped in well insulated containers with frozen gel packs.
- Please do not donate feathers that have been cut off a carcass, feathers with cut shafts cannot be used.
- Dry feathers or other dry parts, can be shipped via Fed Ex or USPS.
- Please notify LWNEFR on the day you ship frozen carcasses, so we can clear freezer space in anticipation of their arrival.
- Dry feathers and parts, shipping/mailing notification is appreciated, but not necessary.
- If applicable please include a copy of your permit with your first donation. In following donations a copy of your permit is not necessary.
Please ship or mail to:
2600 E. Elwood St.
Phoenix, AZ 85040
Laws, Acts, Regulations, Policies, and Native American Feather Use
The following links will provide you with a source of information that relates to the possession of feathers for religious and ceremonial purposes.
The Attorney General’s Memorandum (10/12/2012) – “Possession or use of the feathers or other parts of Federally protected birds for tribal and religious purposes”.
Norton Policy Statement (1975) Interior Secretary policy statement on feather possession and use by Native American. Early guidance.
American Indian Religious Freedom Act of August 1978, protects and preserves the right of Native Americans to express and exercise their traditional religion.
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended
Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918
Liberty Wildlife Non-Eagle Feather Repository Inmate Feather Policy.
NEFR Program Updates
- Ring-Necked Pheasant Tails, we have a limited supply.
- Turkey Tails, we have a limited supply.
- Small body feathers! We have an overabundance in our repository. You can add 20 to your order, just ask for them in the comment section.
- Great Egret Nuptial Plumes, we have several sets (20 plumes). Rare grown only in breeding season. Approx. 20 inches long.
- Leucistic Red-tail Hawk Feathers! We now have a supply of rare leucistic (white) red-tail wing feathers, no tail feathers (see photo), contact us if your interested.
- T-Shirts, short and long sleeve, sweatshirts, and stickers with our logo are now available!
- Shirts=20, longsleeve=25, sweatshirts=45, stickers=2.50, includes shipping Call or email LWNEFR contacts for ordering instructions and available colors and sizes.
- Photos! If you can share a photo of your ceremonial implement, example – feather fan, you made with feathers received from the LWNEFR we would like to post them on our web page. If that is possible, please send the photo to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contacts for Non-Eagle Feather Repository
Robert Mesta, Non-Eagle Feather Program, Director
Mare VanDyke, Non-Eagle Feather Program, Coordinator
These contacts are for LWNEFR information only, if you have questions concerning other Liberty Wildlife matters contact the Liberty Wildlife Office at 480-998-0230.