Do you see the Golden Slippers? I walked to the bay this morning before my doctor appointment. This guy was super friendly as he waited for lunch. He wasn’t using his slippers to stir up prey, seemed content to wait on the rocks.
At the end of the 19th century, wading-bird feathers were worth more than $30.00 an ounce, twice the price of gold. The American Ornithologists Union estimated as many as five million birds were killed a year.
Why? To decorate women’s hats.
The feathers of the Snowy Egret, Golden Slippers, were especially prized for their softness and delicacy. This could have led to extinction but in 1903 President Theodore Roosevelt established the nation’s first national wildlife refuge on Pelican Island, Florida, specifically to protect wading birds from plume hunters. As more protections were put in place, the birds were saved, and our waterways are augmented with a niche filled with beauty and grace.