This story from The Oregonian gives new meaning to the term “dead drunk”:
It’s a case fit for wildlife CSI: 55 robins from the Mount Tabor neighborhood — all dead within a few nearby backyards.
Maybe not. The leading theory is that the birds were fatally intoxicated, said Bob Sallinger of the Audubon Society of Portland’s wildlife care center, where the birds ended up last week.
That’s right: The birds drank themselves to death.
Not from a bottle, though. The birds’ bellies were chock full of holly berries, skins and seeds. Sallinger isn’t dismissing other explanations yet, but the current thinking is that the birds ate aged and fermented berries that killed them.
The robins travel in flocks this time of year, so they could have gobbled the berries together last week. They may have died from ethanol poisoning directly or dropped into such a stupor they died of exposure.
“Certainly a drunk bird in the rain is pretty vulnerable,” Sallinger said.
Maybe they were just depressed.