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The 'Birds Have Hats On, Bro!'

Odd sighting of pigeons wearing tiny cowboy hats is latest mystery in Las Vegas
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2019 8:45 AM CST
Huh?   (YouTube/KTNV)

(Newser) – "Who did this?" That's the question KTNV is posing after a "witness" spotted a group of pigeons hanging out near a dumpster in Las Vegas, which normally wouldn't be of note—except a couple of the birds were wearing miniature cowboy hats. Bobby Lee was the 26-year-old spectator who spied the pigeons on Dec. 5, and he couldn't believe his eyes. "The f---ing birds have hats on, bro!" he exclaims during an expletive-heavy video he uploaded to Facebook, showing at least four pigeons pecking about: two hatless, one wearing a gray hat, and one sporting a red one. "Oh, my God, what the f---?" Lee says in the clip, which has since been viewed nearly 90,000 times. No one so far knows where the birds came from, even after a second reported sighting; a lead that perhaps the birds escaped from a rodeo that was in town fell through.

Which means animal welfare organizations are now trying to figure out why and how the birds got their headwear, with some worried that the hats could be hampering the birds as they forage for food, or hurting them in some other way, especially since their skulls have a shape that would require the hats being held down in some way, perhaps with glue or another adhesive. But a Cornell University ornithologist says the pigeons appear able to see just fine, and that they look relatively "happy." "It is hard to know, of course, because they will not talk to us," says Charles Walcott, who does warn that the hats could keep the pigeons from seeing a hawk swooping down. At any rate, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department says the odd occurrence "does not appear to be a police matter at this time." "The s--- you see in my neighborhood," Lee marvels in his video. (Read more strange stuff stories.)

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