Don’t drink and fly: Georgia wildlife officials warn about drunk birds

Georgia DNR
Georgia DNR(WANF)
Published: Apr. 14, 2023 at 11:01 AM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Don’t drink and fly; Georgia wildlife officials are warning residents to be on the lookout for drunk birds.

According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources around this time of year is when fruit-eating birds such as cedar waxwings and American robins may overindulge in fruit that has started to rot and ferment. A byproduct of fermentation is the production of alcohol, officials said.

“The consumption of these fermented fruits can cause the birds to lose much of their coordination and capacity to fly,” DNR officials explained in a Facebook post. “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 says. “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 are encouraging people to “learn from our feathered friends and consume fruits responsibly.”