Birds have been flying under the influence in Minnesota – smashing into windows and cars after getting sloshed on fermented berries, according to reports.
Police have racked up half a dozen calls about the tipsy birds causing a ruckus in Gilbert, a city about an hour north of Duluth, Fox 9 reported Wednesday.
“We’ve sort of nicknamed it ‘berry benders’ now that these birds are on a berry bender,” Gilbert Police Chief Ty Techer told the network. “The young birds’ livers can’t process it as well. They seem to be loopier, for lack of a better term.”
An early frost has caused berries to ferment, Techer explained. The weird phenomenon has happened before but it’s more prevalent this year because the birds haven’t yet migrated south, he said.
“There is no need to call law enforcement about these birds as they should sober up within a short period of time,” Techer advised residents in a statement, according to the Washington Post.
Cedar waxwings and American robins gobble fruit such as crabapples, whose sugar turns to alcohol as moisture is lost, according to park ranger Sharon Stiteler.
“Drunk birds are totally a thing. I’ve had to give sober rides to cedar wax wings from uptown,” she joked.
A few years ago, Stiteler found an inebriated waxwing trying to fly into the ground, so she set up a “detox box” for the smashed bird to sober up in before letting it go.
“Much like your drunk friend who sleeps on the couch, it threw up and felt better… I gave it some carbs and some water and it did the flight of shame home,” she said.
Stiteler warned that the drunk birds are more susceptible to being snapped up by predators.
“It’s something that’s happened even before humans,” she said. “If you see it happening, try putting it in a box in a dark place where it can kind of sleep things off.”