During visits to eastern Kazakhstan, the abundant use of feathers of owls, mostly Eagle Owls Bubo bubo, was found to be characteristic of the region. Tufts of feathers are placed in strategic places, such as bedrooms and cradles, or are used as an amulet. Hats, caps and bonnets worn during festivals and ceremonial gatherings were adorned with tufts of (eagle) owl feathers taken from breast and mantle. In the absence of owl feathers, feathers of birds of prey were used. The feathers are thought to be reincarnations of guardian spirits with sacred powers. The massive use of such feathers resulted in widespread elimination of Eagle Owls in large parts of Kazakhstan. However, in recent years the local tribes explore the antiquated powerlines, where large numbers of birds of prey and owls are being electrocuted, thus providing easy access to feathers used for ornamentation. In the village of Orlovka, eastern Kazakhstan, the chief showed a collection of 14 Steppe Eagles Aquila nipalensis, 4 Imperial Eagles A. heliaca, 3 Golden Eagles A. chrysaetos, 6 Steppe Buzzards Buteo buteo vulpinus, 5 Upland Buzzards B. hemilasius, 2 Saker Falcons Falco cherrug and 4 Eagle Owls Bubo bubo, all found beneath powerlines between Orlovka and Ust-Kamenogorsk. This selection is just the tip of the iceberg, because similar powerlines are in use all over southern Central Asia. Electrocuted birds are nowadays the main source of feathers used for traditional wear and amulets.