Saturday, March 7, 2009

100-proof berries?

(This little guy had breakfast with us at Empire Cafe a couple weeks ago.
Seemed an appropriate photo for this post.)

I click on a lot of news items as I switch sites to check my various e-mail accounts, and a week or two ago, I came across this story from the AP, posted in the Chattanooga Times Free Press

MEMPHIS — Some drunks got out of hand near Beale Street in Memphis, but instead of barflies it was birds intoxicated from eating fermented fruit.

The Health Department investigated this week after receiving calls about dead and floundering birds, cedar waxwings to be exact. The birds were crashing into buildings in the Peabody Place area.

An investigator told The Commercial Appeal he traced the problem to berries from nearby holly trees. Recent freezes ruptured berry cells, allowing the wild yeast to convert sugars into alcohol.

The birds apparently got tipsy from consuming the fermented berries.

Health officials say they don’t how many birds died from flying intoxicated.

(Yikes! Note to self...don't eat wild holly berries after a freeze and then try to fly...)

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