A blackbird picks a rosehip from a snow-covered shrub on January 5, 2017 in Dresden, eastern Germany. Drunk birds in Gilbert, Minnesota have been feeding off fermented berries and causing damage. (Photo by ARNO BURGI/AFP/Getty Images)

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Drunk Birds Are Going Wild in Minnesota

The birds under the influence have been crashing into all sorts of surfaces.

A small town in Minnesota has been besieged by drunk birds. When birds started flying into windows and windshields, residents of Gilbert, Minnesota wondered what could possibly cause birds to act so destructively. The answer was bizarrely familiar: the birds were flying under the influence.

“The Gilbert Police Department has received several reports of birds that appear to be ‘under the influence’ flying into windows, cars and acting confused,” Gilbert Police Chief Ty Techar wrote in a statement that both acknowledged the strange happenings and poked fun at them. In comments responding to the statement on Facebook, Gilbert residents shared stories of erratic bird behavior. One woman recalled having to put her foot to the brakes when a bird collided with her windshield, while another commenter said she noticed three dead birds lying on her deck.

How does a bird get drunk? Berry fermentation is the answer. Berries ferment with the cold, and because of an early frost in the area, the birds were eating the intoxicating berries before their planned trip to the south for the winter. Young birds are particularly susceptible to the influences of fermentation, and were likely the ones causing all the havoc.

Read the full story at The Washington Post