Pigeons Are Wearing Red Cowboy Hats in Vegas & No One Knows Why

You read that correctly. Pigeons are flying around Las Vegas wearing tiny, colorful cowboy hats. The news about it has spread quickly, but still, no one knows why they're wearing the hats.

The first video that spread on social media came from a post by Vegas resident Bobby Lee on December 5. On his way to the grocery store, he spotted two pigeons in a flock that were wearing a little cowboy hat. "It got a lot of attention fast," Lee told the New York Times of his post. 

Though the tiny hats are clearly charming as hell, many immediately voiced concerns about the welfare of the birds. Cornell University ornithologist Charles Walcott told the Times, "They look like happy pigeons to me. It is hard to know, of course, because they will not talk to us." He also noted that he's not worried about them, in part, because they don't appear to be distressed. "I can’t see that it is causing any great harm to the pigeons." he said.

Nonetheless, no one knows who has done this or how the hats are staying on their heads. Mariah Hillman, a co-founder of a Vegas-based pigeon rescue, told the Washington Post she believes the hats have been glued on, and that she saw one trying to shake off its hat. 

Hillman's organization, Lofty Hopes, is tracking down the birds and protecting them. She and her daughter have found two that they've named Cluck Norris and Coo-lamity Jane.

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Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. Follow him @dlukenelson.