Police in Gilbert, Minn. have been handling a flighty situation this week: drunk birds.
The Gilbert Police Department posted a public notice on Facebook Tuesday morning regarding the avian mayhem. The statement said the department “received several reports of birds that appear to be ‘under the influence’ flying into windows, cars and acting confused.”
The reason for the behavior? Fermented berries. Due to an early frost, berries in the region began fermenting earlier than usual this year; birds have usually migrated south by this time.
Speaking to KMSP-TV, Sharon Stiteler, National Parks Service ranger, confirmed: “Drunk birds are totally a thing.”
Rest assured, “they should sober up within a short period of time,” Gilbert police said, concluding with some playful warnings, like “birds after midnight with Taco Bell items.”
Feathery fun aside, (sober) songbirds flying into windows is a real issue. It’s called window strike, and claims up to one billion bird deaths in the U.S. every year. The problem is especially prevalent in urban environments.
Brewer and avid birder Pete Lengyel of the Kings County Brewers Collective (KCBC) in Brooklyn has spoken out about the issue. “High rises with glass windows kill between one and nine million birds per year in New York City alone, which is unacceptable,” Lengyel told Ale Street News last year. KCBC even crafted a beer in collaboration with the Audubon Society, Safe Flight IPA, to raise awareness of the problem. The beer benefited Project Safe Flight.
The beer was very tasty — but let’s keep it away from the birds.