Does anyone remember the 1963 Alfred Hitchcock movie “The Birds?” In that film, birds suddenly started attacking people. However, in this story, based in Gilbert, Minnesota, birds are getting drunk and disorderly.

There has been a series of incidents involving birds crashing into cars and windows after flying under the influence of fermented berries. The town calls it “berry benders,” and the police chief said they will eventually get sober again.

Birds on a ‘berry bender’ cause havoc together

While the town only has around 1,800 residents according to the New York Daily Post, police have received quite a few calls from residents, reporting tipsy birds causing problems in the town.

The Gilbert Police Chief Ty Techer said the birds are on what they locally call “berry benders.” Techer went on to explain that the birds’ livers don’t process the fermented berries very well. He said the younger birds appear to be affected more this year.

Something that can likely be blamed on climate change is the cause, as an early frost led to berries fermenting. After the birds gobble the tasty treats, they literally get drunk. Techer said the phenomenon has occurred in the town before, but this year it’s more prevalent as the birds have not yet migrated south, meaning more are around to get drunk and disorderly.

The birds will sober up eventually

The Washington Post quotes Techer as telling residents they didn’t need to call the police about the crazy birds, as they will sober up pretty soon.

Sharon Stiteler, a park ranger in the area, explained that American robins and cedar waxwings particularly enjoy fruit and berries, including crab apples.

The sugar in the fruit quickly turns to alcohol as the berries lose moisture.

Stiteler went on to joke that drunk birds really are a thing, adding that she has had to be the “dedicated driver” for many cedar waxwings in the past.

‘Detox box’ allows birds to sleep off their berry bender

Stiteler explained that some years ago she had discovered a drunk cedar waxwing which was attempting to fly into the ground. She said she organised a “detox box” for the bird so it could get sober before she let it go. She added that just like your smashed friend, the bird eventually threw up and started feeling better. She gave the bird some food and water and eventually it flew home in shame.

While Stiteler made light of the situation, she did say drunk birds are more likely to be attacked by predators. She asked the public if they see something like that happening, they should put the bird in a box in a darkened place and let it sleep off its drunken binge.