Winter Weirdness Now With Drunk, Divebombing Birds

Even nature hates a long winter in Florida.

We've long believed personally that winter in Florida is a crime against nature (our coat-less, shivering selves being quite organic, thank you very much) and if birds could take breathalyzer tests, we'd finally have proof -- because Florida's birds are getting very, very drunk, and it's all winter's fault.

The problem has crept as far as the space coast so far as the effects of the long winter are rolling out on Florida like a bizarre series of plagues. First turtles went belly-up in droves, butterflies dropped in piles, and then iguanas fell from trees like lizardcicles only to reanimate. What's next, frog hail? (OH NO FROG HAIL!)

What's next right now is courtesy of our local flora and fauna. Many trees and plants native to Florida, palms in particular, stop sending nutrients to limbs during the coldest part of the year. Thanks to a lingering winter, palm berries have now gone so long without nourishment they are rotting -- and "fermenting" -- in place.

Turns out that's like a palmberrytini to our feathered friends accustomed to snacking on the virgin version, and who are tipsily taking to the skies -- and windshields, and sliding glass doors, and windows.

They're even making other natural messes, just like human drunks. And that might be cute, except someone's got to clean it all up and avoid a Hitchcockian attack of sorts while out and about.

It's gotten so bad in central Florida, Cornell University's ornithology lab editor, Laura Erickson, has advised residents not to plant berry-producing trees and shrubs near roads and windows.

"That, at least, prevents them from having accidents."

Right. Come quickly, spring. We're just not meant for this.

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