Thursday, October 6, 2011

Polly Wants a Sobriety Test - Watch out for inebriated lorikeets in Australia

Discovery News - In Australia’s Northern Territory, red-collared lorikeets, a brightly colored parrot, seem to get tanked every year starting at the end of the dry season in June and August and ending with the wet season in October and November. The apparent avian alcoholics stagger about the streets and fall from trees.

PHOTOS: Magic Mushrooms in My Yard

“They exhibit odd behavior like falling over or difficulty flying [and] they keep running into things,” said veterinarian Stephen Cutter from The Ark Animal Hospital in Australian Geographic.
Like shy humans, the apparently blitzed birds get friendlier and lose their fear of people. But the revelry may be a sign of a deadly illness, not just bacchanal bliss from fermented fruit.


Unlike a human on a bender, the birds don’t just sleep it off. The effects last several days, and are accompanied by respiratory problems and a discharge from bird’s nostrils, mouth, and eyes. Cutter suspect a virus may be at work.

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