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.

Friday, 8 March 2019

Polly wants crack! Parrots 'addicted to OPIUM' wreak havoc on Indian farms as they ravage crops

Parrots in India’s Madhya Pradesh state are tearing apart plants to feed the habit
Local farmers say they are on near constant alert to stop the birds getting high 
The opium addicted parrots are stealing the farmers' most lucrative crop
PUBLISHED: 16:26, 25 February 2019 | UPDATED: 08:16, 26 February 2019
Flocks of parrots believed to be addicted to opium have been ravaging crops on Indian farms in order to feed their bizarre habit.  
Footage recorded in central India’s Madhya Pradesh state shows the birds indulging in the unusual activity of tearing apart poppy seed pods to get to the opium inside - much to the chagrin of the local farmers. 
The wild parrots have apparently learned to wait until the morphine-rich latex is exposed after the farmers slit the poppy pods to help them ripen. 
They then silently swoop into the opium fields - having also learned not to squawk - and frantically nibble off the stalks below the pod.  
The parrots have become so addicted that the farmers say they must be on near-constant alert to stop the birds eating the seeds and getting high.  
Not only have the wild flock become a menace that is wreaking havoc across the state, but they are also stealing farmers' most lucrative crop. 

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