Women's hat fashion until World War II created huge demand for bird plume feathers. This demand fueled plume hunting in the Everglades beginning in the 1870s -- quickly wiping out entire bird rookies -- nesting of thousands.
Correction: The plume hunters usually worked in pairs using 22-caliber rifles so that the birds could be quietly shot off their nests without disturbing those around them. Hundreds of birds could be harvest in a day and the harvesting would continue until entire rookeries were killed. Also, the plume hunting did not completely end until the outbreak of WWII ended the ability to produce or buy such luxuries.
Guy Bradley (1870 - 1905), who worked for the Audubon at the turn of the century out of Flamingo in the Everglades was killed for trying to protect plume birds.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQvBW_z-vn4