Lorikeets wreak havoc after getting 'drunk' on nectar


It turns out that in the lead-up to the silly season, humans aren't the only species getting drunk on holiday spirit. 

Rainbow lorikeets in Adelaide's Botanic Garden have been wreaking havoc after getting 'drunk' on fermented nectar from the Weeping Boer-bean tree.

In fact, the later months of the year are sometimes referred to as 'drunken parrot season' by ornithologists studying the behaviour of birds before the wet season.

Rainbow lorikeets, who are already renowned for their ear-piercing screeching, grow even louder when intoxicated, much to the consternation of residents of the area.

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 Rainbow lorikeets in Adelaide's Botanic Garden have been getting 'drunk' on fermented nectar

 Birds flock to drink fermented nectar from 'the drunken parrot tree' (Weeping Boer-bean tree)

The Weeping Boer-bean tree has actually been named 'the drunken parrot tree', as lorikeets flock to drink fermented nectar from its flowers - which can have a similar alcohol strength to beer.

'Fruit-eating birds are particularly vulnerable because they depend so heavily on a food source that ferments, and to get enough proteins they need to eat a lot of it,' ornithologist Dr Glen Chilton told Australian Geographic in October.

But as it turns out, drunk birds often end up in exactly the same place as drunk humans at the end of the night - in the emergency room.

Veterinary surgeon Dr Stephen Cutter reports scores of people bringing drunken lorikeets to the

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