'Drunk' Birds Drop Dead in Tallinn (4)

A dead Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus). Photo: Courtesy of Estonian Society for the Protection of Animals.
10/15/2012 2:07 PM
Category: Environment

Close to 60 Bohemian waxwings - Northern European natives on their way to warmer regions - were found dead in Tallinn and its proximity over the weekend. The leading theory, according to the Estonian animal protection society: alcohol intoxication. 

The rowan tree's fruit, dogberry, serves as a snack for the waxwings, who on their migration path stop to refuel in Estonia. The fruit in its fermented state causes intoxication in the birds who fly against windows or other objects, and die as as a result, said a statement released by the animal protection society. Another possible cause for the deaths is a virus.

The Estonian Society for the Protection of Animals asks that any dead waxwings be reported to the Environmental Board's phone number, 1313.

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