Current Update March 2011
Kori Bustard Update March 2011
I planned on having this up (in February) several days ago. I had spent most of a day composing and rewording until I was satisfied and hit the button to send it to the site. The text went somewhere but not to the site so I’m starting over. Most new visitors don’t realize; I don’t know much about computers and I never learned to type. Maintaining this site and providing a rather unusual array of fly tying materials is difficult at best, now I am inundated with requests by people that really don’t seem to understand what the Kori Program is all about.
If you are visiting this site for the first time and are looking for “Free Kori Bustard Feathers” as outlined in the current issue of Fly Tyer Magazine, you would do well to read some of the earlier information about the program found on the menu to the left under the heading Kori Bustard. Please bear in mind that some of the older information refers to the money going to FONZ (Friends Of the National Zoo) Kori SSP fund. Now the Kori SSP fund has been transferred to Zoo Atlanta. It is the same people, same program, just an administrative change to facilitate some of their own projects. The latest of which (funded by our donations) we allowed them to purchase 20 video cameras as part of their ongoing research in studying the Kori’s mating cycles and habits.
The following rant is a brief synopsis of some of the issues that could have a negative impact on this unusual program. Please accept my apology in advance but I just have to get some of it off my chest.
I must stressTHERE IS NO GARUNTEE YOU WILL GET A BIG PAIR OF (FORMERALLY VERY EXPENSIVE) KORI BUSTARD FEATHERS.This is not an elaborate government program in that I have a warehouse packed full of feathers and all I do is grab a package of big pairs and send them to you when you send me a $25 donation and a $7 check to cover postage. Also there is no “Package of the Good Stuff” as one person has requested. I have received a request (I guess) that had a donation check made to Zoo Atlanta and a $7 postage check to me with a blank piece of paper, no note, address or anything just the checks. Another contained a check made out to me for $20 and a note requesting I send two of the packages at the $7 postage price and I could keep the rest of the money for myself. I’m not quite sure if I should be insulted by that one. Most of the requests just want a pair of those great big feathers that tie 5/0 and bigger sent as soon as I can because they need them. I wonder if some of them even know what 5/0 means. I have many more requests coming in than I can possibly address let alone fill at the moment. I have been sending out feathers as quickly as possible since I started the Friends of the Kori SSP club a few months ago. Most recipients are pleased to have real Kori to tie with but I am quite sure a few may have had ulterior motives. No doubt some have been illegally sent outside of the US and others may have been used in trade but the person in Illinois that received the pair of “canoe paddle” size Kori with the bottom of the quills cut off (I'm quite sure I did that) and sold them on eBay will hear from me one day. I was heartbroken and pissed. I have also been made aware of a complaint made by a zoo employee that had heard US Kori Feathers were being illegally sent to the UK. I really don’t have time to police the programs recipients; I rely solely on people’s honesty to live by the rules that govern the free feather program. The basic conditions are quite simple; A, They can’t be sold. B, They can’t be sent outside the US. This is a program by I created for fly tiers as we are really the only people that use them. There is a small demand by the Native American Community for use in their regalia but they don’t cut them up like fly tyers do so they should last permanently when they get them.
US fly tyers are responsible for the former, ridiculously high cost of the feathers in the first place. Kori feathers really don’t have magical fish catching properties nor any other true value to anyone on this continent but the feather’s unique physical properties make them perfectly suitable for use in tying the Classic Atlantic Salmon Flies a few of us enjoy. Most of the various feathers are also very usable in many other aspects of fly tying (the big feathers aren’t always necessary) but beyond that and the recent but somewhat limited desire of Native Americans to use them, they are of no real or monetary value to anyone.
It appears to me that there are still individuals that are still trying to make a fast buck just because they think they can. Please be advised:
IF YOU ARE SEEKING KORI BUSTARD FEATHERS BECAUSE YOU THINK THEY ARE WORTH BIG MONEY. THEY ARE NOT!
They are FREE to SERIOUS FLY TYERS (US RESIDENTS ONLY). I guess I am creating a new condition but it has been mostly my effort and resources that has gotten it this far. You must explain what you want and may have to prove your need for these feathers before I will send you any. If you just want to send a donation to a good cause, please do. Zoo Atlanta checks are always welcome but please DO NOT include a $7 postage check. I am unable to keep track of the requests I have now, if you just assume your donation buys you feathers and $7 gets them sent; forget about it! There are some folks that apparently do read some of the earlier information, or at least the part where I said; “I usually include Kori feathers with any domestic order, when I have them” unfortunately that can no longer be the case. The unusual increase in single item orders (1 package of hackle) does allow me to send you some Kori feathers but because I’m not a mind reader (I stopped doing that when I retired 10 years ago) I need to know what Kori (if any) you may want. As it stands right now, you will receive your ordered item (if it is in stock) but nothing else. In earlier times I would include Kori feathers relative to the size of any winging material placed in a DOMESTIC order. If someone was expecting Kori feathers simply because bought $3.95 worth of chicken hackle and didn't make any attempt to address their Kori expectations or needs, don't expect much in return. I haven’t decided how I will handle the unusual requests in hand. I hate to spend my time and money returning them with an explanation. I may simply forward the donation checks (it is a very good cause) and shred the postage checks leaving the sender to wonder what happened. After all they sort of did that to me in the first place.
I seriously doubt that someone simply attempting to enrich themselves one way or another through this program has read this far but if that is your motive please be advised; if you jeopardize this program in any way by your actions there will be an angry mob of salmon fly tyers looking for you. The way I still look at this, all salmon fly tyers benefit one way or another. Even if you don’t live in the US any Kori available to you should cost very little (if any) due to the fact it was the US Black Market that drove the price to the insane level it reached 6 years ago. It is the US market that now doesn’t have to pay for it anymore thus relieving the upward pressure on the price. Can you imagine if the US demand for oil went away, what would happen to the worldwide price? The same should hold true for these unique feathers. My next goal is to work with eBay security staff to ensure they don’t facilitate the ILLEGAL SALE of Kori Bustard feathers. There are no longer any privately owned Kori in the US. All the birds are in publicly owned zoos throughout the US and the animal and its parts cannot be sold in any manor. Any seller in the US saying they are selling molted feathers from privately owned birds probably isn’t telling the truth. There is an official record kept of every Kori Bustard that has come into this country as well as every one that has been born here. There are no privately owned Kori and hasn’t been for quite some time. I am not sure I can stop the entire “Black Market” but I will keep trying. Please help by doing your part. If you’ve read this far, thanks for putting up with all of it, I do feel better. If the nonsense keeps up you can only expect more bitching from me.