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Drunk Birds in Minnesota Wreaking Havoc on Cars

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Sharon Stiteler, National Parks Service ranger
Photo: Fox 9 News

Just one hour north of Iron Range, the town of Gilbert has experienced an epidemic (or rather, birdemic?) of drunk birds. Residents claim that they’ve been seeing birds flying into cars.

The reason for this avian intoxication seems to be an early frost in northern Minnesota. Birds like waxwings and robins usually feed on crabapples during late fall and early winter. When the berries freeze, the fruit loses moisture. This triggers the sugar in the fruit to transform into alcohol.

“Drunk birds are totally a thing,” said National Parks Service ranger Sharon Stiteler. A few years back, she took a drunk waxwing home after she noticed it trying to fly into the ground. She made a “detox box” for the bird, letting it sleep off the alcohol. She said it threw up, ate some carbs and soon felt better.

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car cover

Photo: Frost7092

While there’s currently no solution to the frozen crabapple/drunk bird dilemma, there are ways that you can protect your vehicle. A car cover is an inexpensive, yet effective remedy to shield your ride from bird poop, as well as other debris that can accumulate on the exterior. If you have a garage, keep your vehicle parked there rather than on the street. If your vehicle’s windows are fine, but the birds seem to be targetting the exterior mirrors, try wrapping them with opaque plastic bags, to cover the reflective surface.

Stay safe this fall — and safeguard your vehicle from bird-related incidents and excrement.

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New Sources: CNBCFox 9 News, The Spruce