Minnesota Birds Are Getting 'Drunk' On Fermented Berries, Police Say

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

On Tuesday, the department posted a notice on Facebook warning citizens that it has received several reports of birds that appear to be ”‘under the influence’ flying into windows, cars and acting confused.”

Apparently, the birds are getting boozed up from berries that fermented earlier than usual due to an early frost.

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.

“They’ll be flying kind of erratically,” he said. “We typically see them flying lower than usual through traffic. They’re just careless and they’re not looking for cars or other obstacles.”

He said robins, cedar waxwings and thrushes are the bird species most likely to tie one on since they eat more berries than other species.

“They just get sloppy and clumsy,” Dodder said. “They have actually fallen out of trees on occasion.”

The Gilbert Police Department post said the birds will likely sober up soon after the fermented berries are eaten and asked locals not to call unless they see “Angry Birds laughing and giggling uncontrollably and appearing to be happy” or “Tweety acting as if 10 feet tall and getting into confrontations with cats.” 

If you think you’re surrounded by boozed-up birds, the Audubon Society suggests putting decals on large windows and other reflective surfaces to prevent them from crashing.

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