Birds Are Getting Drunk Off Berries in Minnesota
I guess if my entertainment options were limited to ice fishing and picking out the perfect camo outfit for hunting season, I'd eat a few berries, too.
Birds in a Minnesota city are acting "tipsy"---flying into windows, cars and staggering down streets. The cause? Fermented berries.
The Gilbert, Minnesota Police Department, after getting multiple reports about the birds' behavior, put out an advisory on Facebook.
Certain berries that birds in the area eat fermented earlier than usual because of an early frost, the department said. That, paired with the fact many birds haven't yet migrated south, is causing this drunk bird phenomenon.
From USA Today:
It's not an isolated incident. People have observed "drunk," berry-eating birds in the past. A study published in 2012 noted several flocks of cedar waxwings died after flying into windows and fences because they were intoxicated by over-ripe berries. In 2014, National Geographic reported on "tipsy" behavior of Bohemian waxwings with berry-stained beaks that were admitted to an animal health unit to dry out.
The drunken behavior usually subsides within a few hours.