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Flocks Of Drunk Birds Are Wreaking Havoc In Minnesota

Birds in the Minnesota city of Gilbert appear to be racking up quite the bar bill. Residents have been complaining of birds smashing into houses and windshields and otherwise acting strangely.

The reason? They're drunk.

The city, and its fowl drinking problem, are now going viral after the Gilbert Police Department released a Facebook post asking residents to remain calm.

Apparently an early frost caused berries to ferment a little early, meaning when the birds eat them they're actually getting a pretty good buzz.

"Many birds have not migrated south, so it appears to be more prevalent than in past years," Gilbert PD wrote in their post.

It seemed to immediately make sense to Gilbert residents who must have been wondering why so many birds seemed to be taking offense to their possessions.

"Oh my goodness....I was going to say something...but I thought I was crazy!!! This has been happening to me!" one resident wrote on the Facebook post.

"That explains all the birds bouncing off my window lately!" chimed in another.

Downtown Gilbert Minnesota
Birds have been crashing into windows in Gilbert.Flickr

It might seem strange, but drunk birds are a lot more common than you might think.

Anna Pidgeon, really that's her name, is an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin's Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology. She recently spoke to CNN about Gilbert's issue.

"It's more typical in late winter and early spring when berries that have been on branches ferment due to the yeast that's on them," she said.

With the attention the Gilbert Police Department's post got it didn't take long before people from around the country starting chiming in with their best bird-drinking stories.

"Here, north of San Francisco, I've seen drunk birds fall our of trees, do a double gainer during recovery, and stagger-wing straight back into the tree," shared Tarey Read.

While everyone was poking fun at the birds' frat boy antics Gilbert PD did provide a sobering warning after one resident wondered about trying some berries for herself.

Berries after a frost
Frost caused berries in Gilbert to start fermenting early, getting birds drunk.Pixabay

"It is certainly NOT recommended for human consumption and can cause stomach irritation and other bowel issues."

The berries aren't only dangerous for humans, the birds can actually drink themselves to death. In 2011 a town in Romania was startled to find a flock of dead starlings. Fearing an outbreak of avian flu they alerted authorities. An investigation revealed that the birds actually died of alcohol poisoning.

Sources: BBC, CNN

Did you know birds could get drunk? Let us know in the comments!

I've been writing for Shared for 6 years. Along with my cat Lydia, I search for interesting things to share with you! You can reach me at Tristan@shared.com.