Study finds birds slur when drunk

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PORTLAND, Oregon — The bird is the word at Oregon Health & Science University. Researchers there found that birds slur their tweets and songs when they’ve had too much to drink.

They wanted to study one of the ways alcohol affects the human brain, so the scientists used zebra finches for the test.

Why zebra finches? They way they learn to sing is very much like the way humans learn to speak.

According to the study, the birds did drink, and got drunk.

A little spike to the juice in their bird feeding tube raised their blood alcohol levels enough to get them a flying while intoxicated charge. One bird had an 0.08 blood alcohol level.

The booze didn’t cause the birds to get sleepy or affect their ability to fly, but it did affect their speech.

Researchers discovered the finches had a slurred speech when they recorded their vocals and were played back at half speed. Poor birdies couldn’t get their tunes to fly straight.

Maybe the use of acoustic analysis will be a way to do intoxication tests in the future. Can anyone say, “this is for the birds?”



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