Don’t drink and fly: Birds learn the hard way

Maria Ly
Staff Writer

Gilbert, Minnesota residents faced an unusual problem as young birds get drunk on berries and cause trouble by flying under the influence.

The berries became over ripened and fermented due to early frost and contained high levels of ethanol. Birds who haven’t migrated south yet ingested these berries and quickly became intoxicated as they had a party of their own all across the small town.

People have reported seeing unusual sporadic flying, dead birds on their deck, birds flying into windshields and windows, confused wandering birds, birds falling out of trees, and passed out birds sprawled out in random areas.

The Gilbert Police Department released a statement about these crazy youngsters on their Facebook page, “generally, younger birds’ livers cannot handle the toxins as efficiently as more mature birds.”

The department further states residents should inform them if they see the following: “Angry birds laughing and giggling uncontrollably, Tweety acting as if he’s 10 ft tall and getting into confrontations with cats, and any other birds after midnight with Taco Bell items…”

Although drunk birds are an unusual and hilarious event, it’s not so funny with the bird population as deaths of local birds, mostly robins and cedar waxwings, have raised due to alcohol poisoning.

Fortunately, the young drunk birds will sober up, ending the greatest bird rave of the century.

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