Hats are usually part of fashion and culture. However, they also protect us from the sun and protect the ears from frostbite. The late-19th century ladies’ hats were large, and they contained many accessories, and fitted with the help of painful little instruments called “hat pins.” They were decorated with all sorts of baubles, including bird feathers. The Victorian era is considered the golden age of taxidermy, in which a dead bird or animal is decorated on top of the head. There were hats for every occasion, from walking, riding, morning wear, and even home use.
During the late 19th century and early 1900s, thousands of birds were killed to decorate elite class ladies’ hats. Thousands of snowy egrets, owls, terns, and other elegant birds were brought to near extinction. The passenger pigeon suffered a lot; they were hunted for food and their tail feathers. They flew in flocks dozens of miles wide, making them especially easy to net and shoot down.
Here are some weird and strange women hats from the early 1900s, made from birds. Some of them look awkward.