Did you know that it is against federal law to possess an eagle feather, if one is not Native American? Under 16 USCS § 668 (50 CFR 22), the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act passed in 1940 (modified in 1962 to include the Golden Eagle), it is illegal to, “knowingly, or with wanton disregard for the consequences of his act take, possess, sell, purchase, barter, offer to sell, purchase or barter, transport, export or import, at any time or in any manner, any bald eagle commonly known as the American eagle, or any golden eagle, alive or dead, or any part, nest, or egg thereof of the foregoing eagles, or whoever violates any permit or regulation issued pursuant to this Act…” Eagle feathers vary according to the age and species. For an idea of what these look like, check out the National Eagle Repository site at: https://www.fws.gov/eaglerepository/photos.php
First time violators may face a fine of up to $5,000 or one year in prison. For individuals caught and convicted a second time, the fine increases to $10,000 and not more than two years in prison. So, should you see an eagle feather on the ground, respect its cultural meaning and admire its beauty, while allowing it to remain in its natural setting.