'Tired and emotional' drunk birds fall from sky
Jeremy Laurance is a writer on health issues. He is former health editor of The Independent and the i and has covered the specialism for more than 20 years. He thinks the harm medicine does is under-appreciated, the harm it prevents over-rated, and that cycling works better than most drugs. He was named Specialist Journalist of the Year in the 2011 British Press Awards.
Saturday 03 November 2012
Summer’s fruitfulness holds unexpected hazards for the country’s birdlife.
Vets who investigated the deaths of 12 young blackbirds in Cumbria have concluded that they were not the victims of foul play: they were drunk.
Fermented berries lying on the ground offer an irresistible alcoholic treat. Some birds have enjoyed them so much they have become merry, then unsteady and have had to prop themselves up to avoid falling over, they say.
Unsteadiness is risky enough on the ground, but in the air and among the trees it is a serious liability. The birds were all healthy but had been injured when they were found at a primary school and the police were called.
However, another bird, found alive but “unwell”, was sent to a wildlife centre where staff observed it placing its wings on the ground to steady itself and leaning against the wall of its enclosure to hold itself upright. Post-mortem tests found high levels of alcohol in one of the birds. The researchers from the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency, writing in Veterinary Record, suspect the injuries sustained were from mid-air collisions.
The surviving blackbird recovered and was returned to the wild apparently unharmed.
elephant appealThe first 23 lots in our charity auction have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
musicPolice chief rejects rappers' claims that his work is as dangerous as law enforcement or military service
comedy'Fresh Meat' star sees off stiff competition from Alan Carr, David Mitchell, Graham Norton, Lee Mack and Sarah Millican to win top prize
healthJames Bond's alcohol consumption puts him at 'high risk' of cirrhosis, tremors... and impotence
Beatles rush out 'bootleg' album to defy EU copyright law
Harvey Weinstein reveals his secret weapon on-set
Now that an oil trader's drinking has got him sacked, will we all have to make do with an afternoon latte?
French café starts charging extra to rude customers
Mystery of Epping Forest 'big cat' is solved
North Korea executes Kim Jong Un's powerful uncle Jang Song Thaek for 'attempting to overthrow the state'
Australia incest case: Deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
Fox News presenter tells viewers it is a 'fact' that both Jesus and Santa Claus are white
- 1 French café starts charging extra to rude customers
- 2 Italian court annuls prison sentence for elderly paedophile after 11-year-old victim tells investigators in Catanzaro that she loves him
- 3 Australia incest case: Deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
- 4 Physicists discover 'clearest evidence yet' that the Universe is a hologram
- 5 Fox News presenter tells viewers it is a 'fact' that both Jesus and Santa Claus are white
- < Previous
- Next >
£200 - £240 per day: Harrington Starr: Client Data Management - City - Brokera...
£35000 - £45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based i...
£30k - 35k : Charter Selection: Leading property consultancy firm based in Sou...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: My client is a Top 50 Accoun...