As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Seagulls Get 'Drunk' on Flying Ants

You won't like seagulls when they get a few ants in them. Seagulls in southwest England are getting "drunk" off of flying ants, brazenly stealing food out of residents' hands, flying directly into buildings and failing to get out of the way of cars, according to news reports.

Apparently the birds are becoming inebriated from the formic acid in the ants' bodies, which "lowers their inhibitions" and messes up their coordination, similar to the effects of alcohol, the Bristol Post reports. Hot weather has helped spawn large populations of ants, upon which the seagulls feed. "That isn't so good for the birds — it leaves them a bit drunk," Rebecca Nesbit, an entomologist with the Society of Biology, told the Bristol Post.

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