Drunk Birds Sing Like Drunk Humans, Researchers Find

Like us, birds have some trouble enunciating when drunk-singing

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Alcohol affects the way that birds sing, researchers say.

The sudden realization that you are the best singer in the world that inexplicably overtakes your mind and body after a few cold ones is not exclusive to humans; other members of the animal kingdom experience this as well, according to new research from the Oregon Health and Science University.

Researcher Christopher Olson and his colleagues recently discovered that birds — zebra finches in particular — actually sing differently when they’re drunk than they do when sober.

“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,” Olson told All Things Considered. “But they seem to tolerate it pretty well and be somewhat willing to consume it."

Dosed by the researchers with “a little bit of juice with six percent alcohol,” the finches’ song became “a bit quieter and just a little slurred,” according to NPR.

Quite like the human cocktail drinker, the birds became “a bit less organized in their sound production.” Olson says that next, the team would potentially research how the birds are able to learn new songs. 

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