More birds are getting drunk in Minnesota town, police issue warning to residents

A Bohemian waxwing positions a mountain ash berry before swallowing on Dec. 18, 2013, in Anchorage, Alaska. AP Photo/Anchorage Daily News/Erik Hill

Police are alerting residents in a Minnesota town that more birds are getting drunk earlier this year and are appearing a little more “tipsy” than in the past.

Authorities in Gilbert warned citizens Tuesday of several reports of birds that appear to be “under the influence,” causing the winged animals to fly into windows, cars and acting “confused.”

The police department explained that due to an early frost, certain berries in the community have started the fermenting process early. Meaning, the birds are eating the berries and getting hammered.

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The police noted that many birds have yet to migrate for the winter months so “it appears to be more prevalent [than] in the past.”

“It appears that some birds are getting a little more ‘tipsy’ than normal,” the department said in a statement. “Generally, younger birds’ livers cannot handle the toxins as efficiently as more mature birds.”

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On social media, Gilbert residents noted seeing birds “walking on a sidewalk,” while others reported hitting several with their vehicles.

“Oh my! That explains all the birds bouncing off my window lately! Luckily only one has passed on!” Cassie Polla wrote.

“This explains why I have hit 7 birds with my car this week,” reads another.

READ MORE: Yes, birds also slur when they’re drunk

Fermented berries can have the same impact on birds as alcohol does on humans. Some birds even slur their speech, errr… song, while inebriated. A 2014 study suggests that zebra finches communicate differently while under the influence.

“The most pronounced effects were decreased amplitude and increased entropy, the latter likely reflecting a disruption in the birds’ ability to maintain the spectral structure of song under alcohol,” the study reads.

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“Furthermore, specific syllables, which have distinct acoustic structures, were differentially influenced by alcohol, likely reflecting a diversity in the neural mechanisms required for their production.”

As for the drunkards in Gilbert, police said there’s no need to call authorities about the birds “as they should sober up within a short period of time.”

The police force is asking, however, that residents watch out for “any other birds after midnight with Taco Bell items,” or “Angry Birds laughing and giggling uncontrollably and appearing to be happy.”

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