Be On The Lookout For Drunk Birds, Georgia Wildlife Officials Warn

“Don't drink and fly.”

Georgia wildlife officials are warning residents to be on the lookout for drunk birds

Yes, really. 

Robin Eating Berries

Elizabeth W. Kearley/Getty Images

According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), this time of year is when fruit-eating birds such as cedar waxwings and American robins may overindulge in food that's started to rot and ferment.

You don't have to be a scientist to know that a byproduct of fermentation is alcohol. As the weather warms, one thing leads to another, and the next thing you know, you have accidentally drunk birds flying around and causing a ruckus.

“The consumption of these fermented fruits can cause the birds to lose much of their coordination and capacity to fly,” DNR explained on Facebook this week. “This can cause them to crash into windows and other obstacles. Sadly, they can also die directly from alcohol poisoning if they ingest enough of the fermented fruit.”

“Another possible cause for drunken flying is that the birds have eaten Nandina (sacred bamboo) berries,” the post continues. “This exotic invasive plant is used in landscaping and draws cyanide from the soil, depositing often lethal doses in its bright red fruit.” 

DNR officials concluded by encouraging people to “learn from our feathered friends and consume fruits responsibly.”

Georgia residents should keep a lookout for birds flying under the influence. Those who spot a sick and/or injured bird should call 1-800-366-2661.

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