There’s money in Jay feathers

Common Jay (Garrulus glandarius) collecting peanuts from ground (under feeder) UK

Smart bird! Quite a looker. Those blue feathers are very attractive aren’t they?

And you can buy Jay feathers – not from a Jay of course but from various sources on the internet. Some of these vendors make great play of the fact that the feathers are ‘ethically sourced’ from licensed gamekeepers ‘in accordance with UK Wildlife & Countryside Act of 1981’. Let’s see the list of gamekeepers who are selling their Jay feathers on then please just in case they don’t have much of a case under the actual legal provisions of the Act…

You can buy your Jay feathers at a variety of places such as these;

Etsy – the Feather Shop

Etsy – Fullofeathers

Etsy – Plumenaturelles

ebay -brady4893

ebay – woodyshuts

ebay – wonugo

Amazon – ultimate angler

There are quite a lot of outlets selling quite a lot of feathers.

Shooting a Jay just to sell its attractive blue feathers would not be legal. Of course, if you had killed a Jay for a legal reason, after using all non-lethal means to solve the problem first, then that would be legal. So, if you were selling Jay feathers to supplement your income any tightening up of the licensing system to remove the pretty Jay, with its pretty feathers, from general licences would be a thing to be fought.


11 Replies to “There’s money in Jay feathers”

  1. When I was a nymph-fishing fanatic I used a lot of Peacock tail-feather herl and always thought anyone who crept up on a Peacock and yanked a feather from its arse fully deserved their pay. But causing the extinction of the European Chenille was a step too far.

  2. Hi Mark, are you suggesting that non lethal means of wildlife management should be preferred or at least considered before lethal means? Such as for example shooing birds away rather than shooting them? And would this also in your view apply to wild mammals such as deer as well as birds like Jays? I did discuss with you a few blogs ago the example of dogs chasing away or in your words ‘seeing off’ wild mammals. Would that be something you might consider to be acceptable providing it does not cause cruelty?

    1. giles – in the case of lethal control of birds the law requires a consideration of non-lethal control before resorting to lethal control as a last resort (as I’m sure you know). Andno, you cnnot hijack the comments on this post for another deer chasing diversion, thank you.

      1. Watch “The Snow Wolf: A Winters Tail” on I player – it’s dramatised but nevertheless some great footage of a pack of dogs being used in italy to deal with wolves.

  3. Jay wings can still be purchased at the better country fairs, on the stalls that sell fly-tying
    equipment, bits of antler, and catapult elastic.
    I can remember when they , along with Magpie etc:, were saved from the Spring vermin campaign, to be sent with the Winter ( thicker and redder), Fox skins.
    Veniards, and Horace Friend of Wisbech were the best known outlets in those days.

    1. As an RSPB member I’m certainly disappointed that Wild Justice needed to be set up to tackle the lack of protection for birds. They certainly do plenty of good work but remarkably little progress is made in some areas.

  4. Do they also harvest the special glands that exude garden disinfectant?

    I look forward to the days when museums will pay a fortune for game keeper memorabilia.

  5. I had a further look into this and it seems like a lot of jay products are coming from Eastern Europe too. I imagine if the licence is tightened up here it will increase the market for feathers from abroad. Do you know if there will be tighter controls on the import of animal products after Brexit? I’m not saying we should keep shooting our own birds to protect foreign ones just that there are several loopholes that need tightening around the same issue.

  6. As Dave mentions above – a lot of Eurasian Jay Feathers are now being imported from Europe. If UK laws are changed this will not affect their availability – it just means that suppliers in the UK will lose their livelihoods. You speak as if it’s a hobby but it’s not a case of supplementing my income – it’s my only source of income. I’ve moved away from selling Chinese sourced feathers due to animal cruelty and poor factory conditions. Not to mention the pandemic has driven many of these suppliers out of business. There is no question over the legality of my supply chain as I explained when you contacted me – but I am not going to provide you with details of the gamekeepers I purchase from. No retailer would ever share their supplier’s information with a member of the public.

Comments are closed.