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Birds Are Acting Erratically in Minnesota. Blame It on the Alcohol

05 October 2018

Some birds in Minnesota are getting really flocked up on fermented berries, according to police in the city of Gilbert.

Minneapolis Police in Gilbert, Minnesota, have asked residents to be on the lookout for drunken birds "flying into windows, cars and acting confused". An early frost meant that berries had fermented earlier than usual, he explained, and birds were eating them and getting drunk.

Numerous species who have overindulged on the boozy berries traditionally fly south for winter, leading them to gorge on the fruit in a bid to build up fat for the journey. Also, younger birds' livers can not handle the fermented berries as well as older ones.

Matthew Dodder, a self-described "bird guy" in Palo Alto, California, told The Washington Post that since there's no such thing as a birdie breathalyzer, you have to look at their in-flight behavior to the level of avian intoxication.

Police in northern Minnesota are asking the public to please stop calling them about the influx of "drunk" birds flying around.

However, once they rehydrate and have a bird equivalent of a greasy breakfast, the feather fellows perk up and fly away unharmed. "They're just careless and they're not looking for cars or other obstacles".

Similar finds were made in 2011 in Cumbria, England, after the bodies of 12 common blackbirds appeared near a primary school. The officials also expect the birds to sober up soon enough. Instead, it's the local bird population.

As humorous as it might sound, bingeing on berries can be deadly for birds.

As Dodder told The Post, "Sometimes, they just need a bit of time in a quiet setting to recover". "We will hold them in captivity until they sober up and then set them free".

Because as anyone recovering from a gnarly bender regrettably knows, time is often the only true remedy for a bad hangover-whether tequila or fermented berry-induced.

Birds Are Acting Erratically in Minnesota. Blame It on the Alcohol