Fly Tiers: 353 Reasons to Be Careful What You Buy On EBay

January 26, 2009 By: Marshall Cutchin

African poverty and more than a little greed have led to an epidemic in illegal trades, including those for the feathers of endangered birds like the African Gray Parrot. Many buyers acquire contraband feathers unwittingly or under the presumption that the seller is licensed, so it is worth noting that the bad actors behind the Gray Parrot trade apparently don’t bother to pluck the birds in question. 353 parrot heads and 2000 tail feathers were recently confiscated from a Cameroon smuggler. “Interestingly a search of ebay, shows that there is a substantial trade in the red feathers of the African Grey. The feathers appear to be used for craft and fly fishing. On 24/01/2009 there were 16 auctions for feathers with one seller parrotinthegarden having 125 feathers on auction, supposedly molted by his African Grey Pandora!” Dave Harcourt writes on the topic in Eco Worldly.