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Birds Drunk in Alcohol, Iridescence on Bird Feathers, and Amazing Bird Counting Record | WBW S2 E04

Welcome to Episode 04 of The Weekly Bird Wrap by Neil Hermes where I recap the most amazing stories and facts about birds across the nation and from all over the world!

If you missed last week’s episode, head over to this page.


Intoxicated Birds: What Happens When Birds Get Drunk?

Parrots in Australia are getting wasted on fermented fruit – and, in some cases, dying as a result of their drunken behaviour. 

It’s the end of the mango season in the Kimberley region in Western Australia and fallen fruits subsequently rots and ferments in the sun, generating ethanol. This resulted in a boozy treat for the local wildlife.

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.


How Birds Make Colorful Feathers?

Have you ever stopped to think about how these creatures get to be so dazzling?

Well, here’s the answer! Cool colors and iridescence come from crazy micro-structures in the feathers of birds.

Keratin is a crucial protein in human nails, hair, turtles, and bird feathers. It allows light to twist and turn and separate into a rainbow of iridescence.

In essence, keratin allows feathers to act as a prism by scattering the longer wavelengths of light and reflecting shorter ones to emit gorgeous blues, violets, purples, and greens.


Amazing bird counting record by a woman!

For competitive birders, the Big Year is a big deal. Months of preparation and travel planning often go into the year-long competition to identify as many birds as possible in North America.

For Tiffany Kersten, making 2021 a Big Year was a spur-of-the-moment decision. Having already logged hundreds of birds with a friend while visiting Florida in January, Kersten considered herself lucky to find so many bird species during the memorable trip.


Norfolk Island Tour on September 02-09, 2022

Join Us in Norfolk Island Tour

Loved my bird tour content? Well, Nothing beats being there on the spot, watching the birds!

Join me and my brother, Michael Hermes on a personalised journey through Norfolk Island’s history, amazing wildlife, and stunning scenery drawing on the knowledge and memories from my time as a Norfolk Island National Parks Officer and Michael’s background as an archaeologist working in places such as the Northern Territory, Tasmania, and Queensland. You can book through this page.

I am very excited to see you all on this tour!

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