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.

Guiding Principles

  •  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.

LWNEFR Inventory

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 (robertm@libertywildlife.org) or Mare Vandyke (marev@libertywildlife.org), 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 tails are donated to the LWNEFR, therefore, applications for them will take some time to fill.  Particularly applications for popular species like the red-tail hawk.
  • 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 we are not accepting applications for anhinga’s, scissor-tail flycatchers and caracaras.
  • 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:

LWNEFR Application

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.
  • 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:
Liberty Wildlife-NEFR
2600 E. Elwood St.
Phoenix, AZ 85040 

NEFR Program Update

  • Turkey Feathers! We have received a large donation of turkey tails, one tail per order (see photo), contact us if your interested.
    • Turkey Tail

  • 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.

Leucistic RTHA Feathers


T-Shirt Back/LWNEFR Logo

  • T-Shirts are now available! 
  • Soft Spun 65 poly/35 cotton, they come in Red, Blue, Grey, and Green; sizes S, M, L, XL, XXL.  $20.00/shirt, 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 from with  feathers received from the LWNEFR we would like to start posting them on our web page. If that is possible, please send the photo to robertm@libertywildlife.org

Contacts for Non-Eagle Feather Repository

Robert Mesta, Non-Eagle Feather Program, Coordinator
email: robertm@libertywildlife.org
Ph: 520-240-7406

Mare VanDyke, Non-Eagle Feather Program Assistant
email: marev@libertywildlife.org
Ph: 480-384-0929

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.