Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Fermented fruit is making birds drunkSubmitted: 10/11/2018
Story By Nina Schlosberg

Fermented fruit is making birds drunk
MINOCQUA - Birds often fly into your windows or doors. There is a strange explanation for that this time of year.

The temperature changes in the fall cause fruit to freeze and thaw. That cycle ferments berries, and birds that don't know the difference may eat them and become drunk.


Amanda Walsh, a wildlife rehabilitator at the Northwoods Animal Rehabilitation Center, knows what fall weather can do to food the animals she works with often eat. 

"When the frost hits, the freeze and thaw kind of ferments the fruit inside the berries," Walsh said. 

The problem comes when birds eat that fruit. 

"They tend to act almost drunk, disorientated, flying in circles, running into windows repetitively, things like that," Amanda Schirmer, a wildlife rehabilitator the  Animal Rehabilitation Center, said.

The wildlife rehab center in Minocqua has had animals brought to them drunk.
  
"In the time that I have been a rehabber here, we have seen it in a couple of Northern Cardinals," Walsh said.

Rehabbers diagnose the animals by feeling their joints to see if anything is wrong and checking if they are bleeding. Birds can recover from being drunk just like humans. 

"It's the same thing if you go to the bar and drink too many. It's the same feeling that they will come out of it in a short period of time," said Schirmer.

Although the idea of animals getting drunk can sound humorous to some, too much alcohol can be dangerous.

"The danger is that they do try to fly and they hit a window or hit a car and they are unable to perform the behaviors that are normal to them," said Walsh.

If you see a bird acting strange, it might have just eaten some bad fruit.

"We do get a lot of freeze-thaw activity," Walsh said.

Walsh told us the phenomenon is even more common in Minnesota. If animals in your yard are acting strange, you can call the Northwoods Rehabilitation Center. 

Related Weblinks:
Northwoods Rehabilitation Center.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

SUGAR CAMP - Stacey Klein is an employee of St. Mary's Hospital in Rhinelander.

She works in the occupational therapy department where she helps patients recover from serious health problems.

"I help them re-learn how to get dressed and [get back to] their daily activities," said Klein.

Friday, she took the day off, but didn't take the day off from helping others.

"This is like my favorite day of the year," Klein said.

+ Read More

Play Video

THREE LAKES - One Northwoods town got a new chamber of commerce director this week. Collette Sorgel spent her first day as the Three Lakes director Thursday.

Sorgel moved to the area full time back in 2009. As the new chamber director, she plans to send surveys to get feedback from various businesses and town board members, to see what things the chamber could improve on. 

+ Read More

ONEIDA COUNTY - The Oneida County Tourism Council believes a new brand and new website can help it attract a younger generation of people on vacation.

For the second year in a row, the state tourism department gave the council almost $40,000 to work on a branding project.

The council plans to replace its current website.  It's also looking for ways to draw new people from new places to the county.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - About 30 years ago, Zion Lutheran Church in Rhinelander held it's last live nativity scene. But Saturday, that tradition will be coming back.

The nativity will include animals like donkeys, horses, and lambs. Actors and actresses will play people in The Bible Story. Board of outreach director Jeff Coser said this is a beautiful telling of the birth of Jesus Christ to the community.

"I think the folks that attend, they're really going to enjoy it. It's obviously very traditional," said Coser. "We're going to have our choir here as well as singing traditional Christmas hymns."

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Dialing in her car radio to 87.9 FM at Hodag Park in Rhinelander put Erica Chariton into a festive mood on Friday morning.

"It's the Field of Dreams moment, as I like to call it," Chariton said.

Her group's months of hard work all led up to Friday night: the grand opening of the Lights of the Northwoods year two at 5 p.m.  The show expanded from one weekend to two, with lights displays Friday through Sunday from 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.

"Yes, [we added] a lot more lights this year," Chariton, the group's secretary, said with a laugh.

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - A generous donation gave one Northwoods fire department a new life-saving tool. The Minocqua Fire Department now has its own airboat.

The department had been considering getting one for a few years. Before they would use a man-powered sled, which had to be walked out to people trapped on ice. Assistant Fire Chief Brian Hazelett said an airboat makes rescue attempts easier.

+ Read More

MADISON - Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a sweeping package of Republican legislation Friday that restricts early voting and weakens the incoming Democratic governor and attorney general, brushing aside complaints that he is enabling a brazen power grab and ignoring the will of voters.

Signing the bills just 24 days before he leaves office, the Republican governor and one-time presidential candidate downplayed bipartisan criticism that they amount to a power grab that will stain his legacy.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here