Skip to comments.Juvenile Blackbirds Drunk on Fermented Berries
Posted on 12/02/2012 2:09:01 PM PST by nickcarraway
Birds might not be better than us after all. They have fancy hollow bones and the gift of graceful flight, but in the sense that we are all just floating around looking for fermented berries, there is existential parity.
The Veterinary Record of the British Medical Journal tells of a young bird in Cumbria, found outside of a primary school, that was visibly impaired, hobbling around. Staff at a wildlife rescue center described it as "unsteady on its feet ... [It] placed both wings on the ground to support itself and lent against the walls of the enclosure to maintain posture 'as though it was drunk.'"
Around it, twelve other blackbirds -- precisely half of four and twenty -- were found dead.
Avian pathologists disassembled the birds to see what went wrong. Inside they found rowan berries that had "a faint odor of fermentation" -- enough to smell it while dissecting dead birds, at least. A biopsy of one of their livers had an alcohol level of 430 parts per million. Levels of 238 have been implicated in fatal ethanol intoxication in the past, in two poor wild cedar waxwings.
The surviving bird made a full recovery; back to normal by the next day.
But how many more birds are out there, with lower-but-not-incidental blood alcohol levels? Flying among us. Is it possible that they intentionally seek out fermented berries? Just one more -- I'm fine. Just one more. I'm totally okay to fly, just give me five minutes to waddle around first.
(Excerpt) Read more at theatlantic.com ...
Hardly a dent in the population. Unfortunately.
It’s not uncommon. I remember grouse getting drunk on wild grapes.
I see a new iPhone app in the offing:
“Angry Drunk Birds”
My name is Polly W. and I am an alcoholic boid.
I have heard of birds eating fermented poke berries for years.
I remember drunk birds in Florida. They ate red berries and it didnt take long before they were drunk.
Way back when my uncle had a farm, his neighbor made beer and whiskey. Sometimes cattle and horses would eat the mash it wasnt pretty.
My Irish Wolfhounds like to go out in the orchard and eat the apples and pears. They are tall enough to pick them off the branches.
I try to clean up the fermented fruit that has fallen on the ground daily. Sometimes after a windy night, there are quite a apples and pears on the ground. My husband lets the dogs out in the morning before I’ve picked up the fruit and my hounds have gotten loopy...stumbling around, droopy eyelids, you know.
This is not a laughing matter. Too much fermented fruit can cause dogs to suffer organ failure and kill them...ethanol poisoning.
That’s funny, nick.
7 Species That Get High More Than We Do
Title of a Cracked article a while back
A bad tempered drunk elephant...watch out
Blackbird puking in the dead of night....
As you probably know, dogs have very little tolerance for alcohol. We spent about $500 after our “free” puppy ate raw bread dough. The live yeast produced enough alcohol to nearly kill her.
This sort of thing happens throughout nature. Animals love alcohol when they happen upon it.
I've also heard of bears eating fermented berries. A drunk bear; just what we need!
They fly among us.
That’s been me since November 6th.....I’ll sober up in another 4 years...
Go Blackbirds! It’s 5:00 somewhere...
There are YouTube videos of African animals getting falling—down drunk after eating ripe fruit from the marula tree (it ferments inside them).
I’ve read about that...yeast can ferment sugars, creating ethanol poisoning in the animal.
Does your pooch have health insurance? Mine do through VPI.
It truly helps.
Almost willing to bet that bears are mean drunks too.