A flock of pigeons wearing tiny MAGA caps descended on downtown Las Vegas on the eve of the Democratic presidential debate Tuesday in what was apparently a pro-Trump stunt.
Pigeons United To Interfere Now, or P.U.T.I.N., took credit for the display of avian partisanship, calling it “aerial protest” of the Democratic debate held Wednesday night, local Fox affiliate KVVU reported. The group also released a video of birds wearing the hats, with a voiceover of dialogue from the Alfred Hitchcock film “The Birds.”
Besides caps, one of the birds had a tiny blond that evoked Trump’s hairstyle glued to its head.
The headline-making caper was inspired by a 1970s CIA operation, codenamed Tacana, which explored the use of pigeons equipped with tiny cameras to spy on sensitive sites in the Soviet Union, a member of P.U.T.I.N. calling himself Coo Hand Look told KVVU in an email.
“The project was the result of months of exhaustive research, logistical hurdles and pigeon care taking,” he said.
According to Coo Hand Look: “The release date was also coordinated to serve as a gesture of support and loyalty to President Trump, who [was] to arrive in Las Vegas just ahead of the Democratic Debates, for a speech scheduled at The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department headquarters.”
MAGA hat-wearing pigeons stunt in Las Vegas meant as satire, group says
In a statement to the Las Vegas Journal, Coo Hand Luke – a play on the name of the title character of a 1967 feature film starring Paul Newman – said the stunt was mainly meant as satire. He said the hats and wig were attached with eyelash glue, with the expectation that the hats would fall off in a couple of days.
“It’s what women use to put around their eyes for eyelash extensions. The hats usually stay on for a day or two, depending on the bird’s movements,” he said. “We can also remove them ourselves as they fly back to the coop. They could be gone for a day, two days or a week, but they always come back.”
Nevertheless, some Twitter commentators reacted to the stunt with outrage, linking Trump to the alleged act of animal abuse.
Feminist writer Molly Jong-Fast said: “This is so very trumpy and cruel.”
This is so very trumpy and cruel https://t.co/uiQtefib7F
— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) February 20, 2020
Journalist Amee Vanderpool called for the “sick” people who put the hats on the pigeons to be “prosecuted for animal cruelty.”
A group has released a number of pigeons with MAGA hats glued to their heads in downtown Las Vegas ahead of the Democratic debate and President Trump's visit to the city Wednesday.
This makes me sick-people need to be prosecuted for animal cruelty. https://t.co/X2SlVx6tQ0
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) February 20, 2020
New York Times style reporter Taylor Lorenz went into detail about the supposed toll the hats were taking on the birds.
This is disgusting animal abuse. These hats interfere with the birds ability to navigate and eat and find food. It’s painful and difficult for the glued-on jays to be removed. This stunt is sick and whoever is doing this should be in jail https://t.co/9hyaXgOOrm
— Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz) February 20, 2020
Meanwhile, many Trump supporters, like actress and social media influencers Mindy Robinson, were enjoying the show.
When pigeons started showing up wearing tiny little cowboy hats in Vegas during National Rodeo Finals, I just knew it was a fellow Redneck. Today, my suspicions were confirmed.https://t.co/Eb3855ljnO
— Mindy Robinson 🇺🇸 (@iheartmindy) February 20, 2020
It was the second time in three months hat-wearing pigeons have appeared in Las Vegas. In December, cowboy hat-adorned pigeons were found milling about, locals reported on Twitter at the time.