Drunk Parrot Season Starts in Australia
September 27, 2011, 1:55 pm
Red-collared lorikeets have a tradition of getting smashed each year at the start of the wet season in Australia. Experts say they are not sure if the lorikeets are actually drunk, but they do have tell-tale symptoms. The birds exhibit odd behaviour like falling over or difficulty flying and they keep running into things.
Scientists do not know what causes their apparent drunkenness but it is believed that it is due at least partially to eating fermented fruit.
Each wet season in northern Australia hundreds of colorful lorikeets have to be rescued because they appear drunk, fall out of trees and even get a hangover-like sickness. The strange phenomenon is often treated as a joke. But the disease - which sees the birds falling from trees and staggering around streets - is far more dangerous to the birds than a hangover is to people. Many times the hangover for these birds is fatal.