Landline program about use of native birds to make hats.

To: "" <>
Subject: Landline program about use of native birds to make hats.
From: Mark Clayton <>
Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2018 01:05:33 +0000


I did not see the program but totally agree with your comments. Several years ago I had a couple turn up at my banding site in West Wyalong with a dead echidna. When I asked what they were going to do with it and how they obtained it they said that it was a roadkill - it almost certainly - and that they were planning on making fancy "jewelry" from the spines. I told them that what they were doing was highly illegal and that if they were questioned by a ranger or police officer they would find it very difficult to prove that they had not killed the animal, and that heavy fines, and even imprisonment, could be the result of their actions. They had no idea that what they were doing was against the law.

I have also seen many people in the birding world sporting feathers of protected species in their hats. They are also surprised when I tell them that what they are doing is illegal .."but I found it on the ground .....". Again I have told them that they could be charged with possessing protected fauna or parts thereof.

I don't know if people remember several years ago but an American birder advertised on Birding-aus (I think it was) for feathers of Australian birds. He too was surprised to learn that it is illegal to possess and send feathers through the post without proper authorisation.

Have you personally contacted Landline yet and if so, do you have an email address for them or the ABC in general? This is definitely something that needs to be followed up with them.


On 29/10/2018 11:44 AM, Philip Veerman wrote:

Yesterday I happened to see this item on ABC Landline somewhat supportive or praising of this lady who is making a business of making hats, using feathers of native (and some domestic) birds. She is in Broome WA. It is presented as a hard luck story of a lady who has made good of herself. This is seriously concerning. It was the awful trade in, particularly Egret breeding plumage, decades ago, that lead to mass slaughter of these birds at their breeding colonies. Now we have this promotion of using feathers of many species in hats again. As I watched it I could identify most of the birds species used, (I consider myself particularly adept in identifying feathers) but will decline to type out a list here as a first approach. Some are mentioned by the narration (correctly or not). For example it refers to a “road killed owl” when the feathers shown at that point are clearly no owl, they are from a Pheasant Coucal, there is Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo, Brown Goshawk, Kookaburra, Bustard and many other species included, though the bulk appear to be Guineafowl and various raptors and parrots. It is hinted at that the birds are mostly road kill or just sent in by whoever to this lady to make into hats. What is clearly concerning is that provenance is in most cases unknown and unprovable. Especially if this becomes a commercial enterprise – I guess it already is. It is my understanding that whilst state laws may differ, in general it is illegal to possess without a permit, any feathers of native birds and certainly to trade in them. What is worse is if this starts off a bigger trend. We need to take action against that possibility. It sure is easy to kill birds to collect feathers if there is money in it and claim it to be road kill. I am disturbed that Landline presented this program without having instead advised this lady that what she is doing is almost certainly illegal. And I reckon most of us would find it highly unethical, if not just grotesque. Maybe readers would like to take up this issue with Landline. I wonder whether anyone has contact with the wildlife authorities in Western Australia to take up this case.


Philip Veerman

24 Castley Circuit

Kambah  ACT  2902






<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the Canberra Ornithologists Group mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the list contact David McDonald, list manager, phone (02) 6231 8904 or email . If you can not contact David McDonald e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU