Below is a tail feather from a Cooper’s hawk that I found laying in the roadway while biking from work yesterday evening on 4th Street through Hancock Park.

I stopped, picked it up, put it in my backpack and went on my way. In doing so, I violated the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, which provides:

That it is unlawful to pursue, hunt, take, capture or kill; attempt to take, capture or kill; possess, offer to or sell, barter, purchase, deliver or cause to be shipped, exported, imported, transported, carried or receive any migratory bird, part, nest, egg or product, manufactured or not.

No I did not hunt, capture or kill — nor attempt to. No I do not plan to offer, sell, barter, purchase, deliver, ship, or export. But I did take the feather. And I do possess the feather. And given my familiarity with the Act from a past life working at the L.A. Zoo means I knowingly committed a misdemeanor, punishable by: a fine of up to $500, and up to six months in jail.