Drunk Birds Don’t Fly Well
There has been talk in recent weeks about birds falling from the sky, dead. While I haven’t followed the hows and whys of these events (some of which likely predict the Apocalypse), this article shows that there is indeed a legitimate reason for some of these dead birds. The explanation isn’t as glamorous as aliens taking over our skies, but it’s somewhat amusing.
Recently a flock of birds were found dead in Romania. After further examination, veterinarians determined that the birds were drunk, resulting in their deaths.
Residents of the Black Sea city of Constanta alerted authorities on Saturday after they found dozens of dead starlings, fearing they may have been infected with bird flu, which triggered mass deaths in avian populations in 2004-2006.
“Tests on five birds showed gizzards full of grape marc which caused their death,” Romeu Lazar, head of the city’s veterinary authority told Reuters, referring to a pulpy residue which is a by-product of winemaking.
“This also applies to two dead crows we tested,” Lazar said. Birds are not used to alcohol but harsh winter and snow had prevented birds from finding food. Had they been able to eat some seeds, this would have diluted the poison.”
This makes me wonder if the berries on the bushes outside of my kitchen contain alcohol for the birds who eat them. Perhaps the next time I see them dive-bombing those bushes, I’ll need to watch them for a while to see if they, too, become intoxicated.
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