National Eagle Repository – Commerce City, Colorado - Atlas Obscura

National Eagle Repository

Happen to come across a dead eagle? Send it to America's official dead eagle warehouse. 


Welcome to the National Eagle Repository, the federal government’s official dead eagle processing center, where the corpses of America’s favorite bird sent, and made into parts for Native American ritual.

Part of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge near Denver, Colorado, the National Eagle Repository is the one place in the nation where deceased symbols of American freedom are sent, as well as the place you can look to for all your legal eagle part needs.

First created in the 1970s, the office as it exists today was established in 1995 as a result of a presidential mandate designed to create a legally regulated method for Native American tribes to obtain eagle parts for use in various cultural pastimes. The fierce protection of bald eagles in America made the procurement of eagle parts a thorny issue for many Native American tribes who use them, especially the feathers, as components of their legally protected cultural rites. With the repository in place, obtaining eagle parts is now a perfectly legal process that both helps to protect the animal and the rights of the people who use them.

A small team evaluates and processes the dozens of eagles each day, plucking feathers and such. Registered Native American tribes can send a request for parts to repository and can receive their legal parts in the mail.

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