Total Eclipse: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Festival of Science, Music, and Celestial Wonder. August 19–21, 2017 in Eastern Oregon.

A Highway in Austria Was Terrorized by Drunk Birds

The starlings got wasted off fermented berries, and then hit the streets.

Look out!

Look out! (Photo: Christoffer A Rasmussen/Public Domain)

When birds fall out of the sky, people think the worst—apocalypse, environmental catastrophe, mass bird protest. Sometimes, though, the birds are just drunk.

That’s what happened yesterday in Austria, where a whole flock of starlings guzzled down fermented berries and then decided to mess with some drivers. Soon, they were divebombing the A2 motorway, crashing into cars and trucks and causing miles-long traffic jams, The Local reports.

This happens to birds surprisingly often, especially in the fall, as freezing and thawing cycles turn berry juice into alcohol. “Most birds likely just get a bit tipsy,” Meghan Larivee, a scientist with Canada’s Environment Yukon, told National Geographic in 2014 after an incident with some hammered waxwings. “However, every now and then, some birds just overdo it.”

In those cases, she says, “They cannot coordinate their flight movements properly or at all.” But they probably think they’re doing awesome.

Every day, we track down a fleeting wonder—something amazing that’s only happening right now. Have a tip for us? Tell us about it! Send your temporary miracles to [email protected].