Drunk as a jay?

I had an odd visitor yesterday. There's a jay - sometimes more than one - who visits my garden quite frequently. Yesterday morning I came down to find one sitting in a fixed position on my patio, only about eighteen inches from the patio door.

Rather to my concern it ignored me completely and stayed rigid, though obviously alive. Several times during the course of the day it keeled over and got up again, put its head on one side and went comatose, then lurched over and pulled itself upright again. At times it lay on its side, alive but obviously comatose. I didn't see that interfering with it would help, and it might make matters worse if I tried handling it, so I left it alone. When we had some rain it managed to haul itself into a corner to get a bit of shelter. It was either sick or crapped several times. I did put some water and a few biscuit crumbs out for it but I don't think it showed any interest.

When I popped out to investigate at 7 p.m. it had moved itself several feet along the kitchen wall, though it didn't react to my presence at all. At 9 p.m. it had gone: no feathers lying about so hopefully not a fox.

My best guess is that it had got drunk on fermented berries - there have been reports of birds doing this, and all too often it kills them. I've seen no sign of a corpse, so I'm hoping that it came to and staggered off - presumably clutching its head and muttering 'never again'. Today I've seen a couple of jays flying about - one looking rather bedraggled - so though obviously I can't tell, I'm hoping it made a full recovery.

Posted: Sat - July 25, 2009 at 11:29 AM by Roger Wilmut          



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Published On: Mar 11, 2016 05:00 PM