The state of Georgia has issued a stern warning for birds: Stop flying drunk.
OK, maybe not that stern. Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) shared a playful PSA in a Facebook post on Wednesday to inform residents of local birds’ potential odd behavior. During this time of year, American robins and cedar waxwings are known to consume fermented berries, which can cause them to become inebriated. The birds may fly into windows, lose the ability to fly, or move in an otherwise haphazard manner.
Judging by the post, it appears this isn’t the first time that these Georgian feathered friends have enjoyed a round. As unharvested fruit begins to rot and ferment on the vine during the spring months, the DNR writes that it’s common to encounter a tipsy fowl or two.
Unfortunately, the birds can also suffer health consequences from consuming too many boozy berries.
“Sadly, they can also die directly from alcohol poisoning if they ingest enough of the fermented fruit,” the post states. It also warns that Nandina berries (also known as sacred bamboo) can contain toxic levels of cyanide, derived from its soil. The department adds that the non-native plant, which produces flashy, bright-red berries, is often used in landscaping.
This phenomenon certainly isn’t isolated to birds in The Peach State. In the past several years, officials in Minnesota, Texas, and Canada have reported instances of intoxicated cedar waxwings and other fowl. If you encounter a tipsy bird, officials say you should give them space and allow them to “sober up,” according to NPR.
“Learn from our feathered friends and consume fruits responsibly,” the DNR says.