Archive for September, 2009

A Hawk Wind Blows

I just returned last night from a weekend trip with my partner to the Iron Range and Duluth, Minnesota. We had a wonderful time biking on the Mesabi Trail (20 miles in total!) through the deep pine and birch forests and saw a painted turtle on the trail. Yesterday in Duluth we went up to Hawk Ridge , the highest point in Duluth to watch the hawk migrations. Dan, an avid bird watcher had told me this was a great time and place to do this but I hadn’t realized it was an entire nature reserve. Northeast winds had just begun that day, which really favors flying conditions. Despite this we only spotted a few hawks. Still, it was a treat to see birds we rarely do in the Twin Cities and we had a gorgeous view of the city and lakeshore below.

Upon perusing MetaPagan today, an article by Lupa was highlighted relevant to avian ecology. While I was aware that possessing eagle feathers is illegal in the U.S., I didn’t realize that extended to other birds of prey. And no, the laws don’t distinguish how you acquired the feather (or talon, beak etc) as that is difficult to prove.

I’m surprised that I haven’t seen the issue she raises discussed before in the Pagan community. I know I have a collection of feathers I’ve found on the ground various places, but they are mostly from song birds and water fowl that are fairly common- blue jays, mallards, swans etc.  Just to be on the safe side though, I’m going to familiarize myself with these laws. And I suggest you do the same.

If we are to truly walk our talk about protecting and respecting Mother Earth and her creatures, we need to follow these and other environmental laws. I know modern Pagans often have a libertarian/anarchistic streak and reject authority, but these are not arbitrary bureaucratic regulations. I also think disregard for this also says something about the pursuit of ego and material things getting in the way of true spirituality.


September 30, 2009 at 7:58 am Leave a comment


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