Saturday, June 24, 2006

Drunk Birds

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Four pelicans suspected of being drunk on sea algae were being tested at a Southern California wildlife centre on Saturday after one of them crashed headlong into a car.Three of the California brown pelicans were found wandering dazed in the streets of Laguna Beach after another pelican struck a vehicle's windscreen on a nearby coast road.

It suffered internal injuries and a long gash in its pouch and was undergoing toxicology tests.

Officials at the Wildlife Care Centre said the seabirds may have been under the influence of algae in the ocean that can produce domoic acid poisoning when eaten.

The other pelicans were rounded up after assistant wildlife director Lisa Birkle warned the public to be on the lookout for birds acting "drunk," disoriented or being in an unusual place.

Shellfish tainted with domoic acid was thought to be the culprit behind a 1961 attack of seabirds on people and cars in the oceanside California town of Capitola that inspired Alfred Hitchcock's horror movie "The Birds."

Well, I guess that shoots my image of birds being those "fine feathered friends." These carousing pelicans were cruising the town looking for aglae and ended up in someone's windshield. Given what I know about pelicans, it probably did not do good things to the windshield. The story behind the story is that the parents of these birds where beginning to get concerned when they started hanging around with a monkey. You know what they say about keeping bad company. That monkey is nothing but trouble. I could have told them, but I doubt many pelicans read my blog. Bad for them.

An upcoming article will focus on the Men's health benefits of getting drunk on algae.