Fact: Drunk Birds Slur Their ‘Words’ Just Like Humans, Study Shows


Researchers conduct all sorts of bizarre experiments in the name of science, from looking at how dogs orient their bodies when they poop to studying the slipperiness of banana peels. Now, they say birds behave like humans when they’re drunk, but the question is, can birds get drunk? The Huffington Post has more:

And now, in the latest example of strange science, researchers at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland got some finches drunk and watched what happened. Their main finding? Like drunk humans, boozed-up birds slur their “speech.”

For the study, the researchers gave grape juice to one group of zebra finches and an alcoholic juice cocktail to another group. The cocktail-quaffing finches became somewhat inebriated, with blood alcohol levels of 0.05 percent to 0.08 percent, according to NPR.

“At first we were thinking that they wouldn’t drink on their own because, you know, a lot of animals just won’t touch the stuff,” Christopher Olson, a researcher at the university, told NPR. “But they seem to tolerate it pretty well and be somewhat willing to consume it.”

A comparison of the birds’ songs showed that the buzzed birds sang more quietly, and their songs lacked their typical structure (listen to the difference in the video above). Surprisingly, the alcohol did not seem to affect the birds’ coordination.