Minnesota Birds Are Getting 'Drunk' On Fermented Berries, Police Say

A Bohemian waxwing positions a mountain ash berry before swallowing on Dec. 18 2013 in Anchorage Alaska

"They're just careless and they're not looking for cars or other obstacles".

Gilbert Police Chief Ty Techar wrote on Facebook that he received about a dozen calls about "birds that appear to be under the influence, flying into windows, cars and acting confused". Or, more specifically, berries that froze, causing the starch they contain to convert to sugar, which in turn fermented when the berries thawed.

Also, younger birds' livers can not handle the fermented berries as well as older birds.

A third resident claimed to have found three dead birds on her deck, while another was forced to brake hard when a bird flew into her vehicle windshield.

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Commenters on the department's Facebook page confirmed the sightings.

Writing under a Facebook post about the problem, one resident said: 'I was going to say something. but I thought I was insane! "They have actually fallen out of trees on occasion". In 2012, for instance, researchers performed necropsies on several flocks of cedar waxwings that had collided fatally with solid objects like windows and fences in California; they discovered that the unfortunate animals had stuffed themselves with overripe berries of the Brazilian Pepper Tree, and concluded that the birds' deaths were the result of "flying under the influence of ethanol".

Any other birds after midnight with Taco Bell items.

The Gilbert Police Department post said the birds will likely sober up soon after the fermented berries are eaten and asked locals not to call unless they see "Angry Birds laughing and giggling uncontrollably and appearing to be happy" or "Tweety acting as if 10 feet tall and getting into confrontations with cats". The birds, which get drunk on fermented berries, are becoming something of a nuisance and have even caught the attention of local law enforcement.

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