Skip to comments.Birds Eat Fermented Fruit, Fly Drunk
Posted on 02/28/2009 11:19:39 PM PST by fallingwater
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Some drunks got out of hand near Beale Street in Memphis, but instead of barflies it was birds intoxicated from eating fermented fruit.
The Health Department investigated this week after receiving calls about dead and floundering birds, cedar waxwings to be exact. The birds were crashing into buildings in the Peabody Place area.
An investigator told The Commercial Appeal he traced the problem to berries from nearby holly trees. Recent freezes ruptured berry cells, allowing the wild yeast to convert sugars into alcohol.
The birds apparently got tipsy from consuming the fermented berries.
Health officials said they don't how many birds died from flying intoxicated.
(Excerpt) Read more at wsmv.com ...
My road was littered with car-hit and staggering robins a few years ago. Lots of wild grapes grow in my semi-rural area, and they must have got into quite a parcel of grapes.
They were amusing, but I hated seeing them flying into things they’d normally easily avoid.
I saw some little nuthatches eating Morning Glory seeds this fall. I thought, “you little fellas are gonna be in super-freak-out mode.” They were walking around on the ground like they were marching. This one little guy kept getting on the fence post and then falling, hanging upside down for a while only to right himself and start all over.
The ones who tried to fly did very well and I saw no evidence they were having any difficulties. Flying was easy, it was the landing part that seemed to be giving them trouble. They would consistently misjudge the branch or whatever it was they were attempting to land on. They would overshoot branches sometimes and others they would run directly into the branch. I started to feel a little guilty laughing at birds on acid and went inside. :)
“Heavenly Blue”...ahhh the memories....:)
Birds crashing into my front picture window after eating fermented crab apples were an annual spring tradition in my last home. They were usually so loopy, the impact would knock ‘em out for a few minutes & they’d soon stagger to their feet, gain back some of their senses & fly back into one of the crab apple trees to sleep it off.
That's why they call it TRIPPING.
The Aztecs used those for various purposes. :) They grow like crazy and choke out my mater plants but my wife loves them and I’ve a feeling the nuthatches have developed an affinity for the seeds. Tasting rainbows and landing on unicorn horns. Like, “tweet,tweet, meow”, dude.
I heard of elephants doing this, flying elephants would be nasty.
Down here, bootleg liquor is readily available, and I often buy a quart and flavor it by adding fresh whole cherries or the small India peaches and letting it soak for a few months. Unfortunately, the fruit gets really nasty, and isn't fit to eat, so it gets thrown out.
A couple of years ago, I threw some cherries (about four quarts worth) on the ground just inside the woodline behind my house. About an hour later, I heard a lot of noise out there, and walked out to investigate. It seemed that every crow in South Carolina had found the stash, and was busily eating itself into a drunken stupor. When I approached them, they could only run away, because they couldn't get it together enough to fly. It was pretty funny.
Needless to say, I dispose of the fruit by other means now.
Your Dad's story reminded me of that. Thanks.
Ahhh, cheap laughs at the animal’s expense are the best...
Several years ago, before they passed on, we sat my grandparents down in front of a video camera to tell their life stories. They farmed in South Dakota their entire lives. The stories are amazing.
I recommend that anyone who still has a relative who grew up back in the "old days", get their story on tape, DVD, or whatever... just get it. You will treasure the stories now, but you will treasure it even more when they are gone.
"Here, hold ma' berry an' watch this!"
Drunk Bird video
You are so right. When my mother passed away (1966)dad and I opened a box of her “private” stuff. She had kept all of my uncle’s letters from WW2. He was in Borneo.. I wish I had kept them, but dad and I talked it over and decided to let her private things remain private. we burned them and other things from her life she had saved...An emotional response, but should have saved them for family history..How great of you to think of interviewing your grandparents..Wish I had thought of that..
Thanks for the video. Poor thing. I'll bet he has a hangover.
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