Webb’s Auction House in Auckland recently made a world record-breaking sale, when a brown and white feather fetched NZ$8,000 ($6,787)! The single feather belonged to the Huia bird, which is thought to be extinct and has not been seen since 1907. The black and white feathers were traditionally used to adorn Maori chiefs. The single feather that went under the hammer had been verified as authentic by experts from New Zealand’s national museum, Te Papa. Nobody expected the final price for this feather to be so high. In fact, the pre-sale estimate for the feather was set at NZ$500. A family bought the Huia feather from the city of Wellington, who declined to be identified. The feather was sold by a man who had it in his family for generations.
Although the auction house must be celebrating this record-breaking sale, I can’t help but wonder if there will ever be a day when people will bid at an auction for the feather of a crow or sparrow—time to work hard towards preserving our environment and prevent any more species from becoming extinct.