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Last Updated: Monday, 8 August 2005, 13:52 GMT 14:52 UK
New Zealand wood pigeon palaver
Wood pigeon (Courtesy of Pukaha Mount Bruce)
The pigeons have switched to eating the intoxicating guava berry
Wood pigeons in Whangarei, New Zealand, are having to be rescued by locals after becoming drunk.

The birds have taken to eating guava berries after a hard winter killed off much of the forest vegetation that forms their normal diet.

However, the berries then ferment and cause intoxication.

A total of 26 birds have been rescued in the last month, said Robert Webb of the Whangarei Native Bird Recovery Centre.

"The birds are coming into the city to look for food and are eating the guava berries which gets them paralytic.

"We have to sober them up, give them lots of water and fresh liquids and keep them for a few days," he added.

Although the centre has had to deal with double the number of injured wood pigeons than is normal at this time of year Mr Webb expects their drunken antics to tail off in the coming weeks.

"The berries will finish soon and new shoots will grow in the forest and then they can feed there," he said.




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