Keep an eye to the sky if you happen to be in Darwin, Australia, at the start of the wet season because that is when Red-collared Lorikeets are most likely to be getting drunk on fermenting fruit.

“It’s definitely a seasonal thing because it’s linked to what they are at at the start of the wet season,” Cutter said. “There’s a low level (of drunken behaviour) all the year round but it reaches a peak from June to August.”

Darwin locals say there has always been the phenomenon of drunken parrots in the streets at this time of year. They have trouble flying. They lose coordination, and they lose their fear of humans.

All are agreed that each year more birds seem to display the behaviour and they do so at about the same time.

Fermented fruit – Lorikeet-speak for beer?

Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy and Desmond Shearwater. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.