A link to the following article was in my mail yesterday. The article is interesting however, I don’t think it really gets at what might be underlying causes of birds imbibing a little too much or a little too frequently….
James MacDonald. 2014. When Birds Drink Too Much. JSTOR Daily, January 1,4 2015.
There are two articles cited by the above mini-article. I think that they are important and can be read online without any extra cost.
Frank Wiens, Annette Zitzmann, Marc-Andre Lachance, Michel Yegles, Fritz Pragst, Friedrich M. Wurst, Dietrich von Holst, Saw Leng Guan, and Rainer Spanagel. 2008. Chronic intake of fermented floral nectar by wild treeshrews. PNAS, Volume 105, No. 30, pages 10426-10431.
S.D. Fitzgerald, J.M. Sullivan and R.J. Everson. 1990. Suspected Ethanol Toxicosis in Two Wild Cedar Waxwings. Avian Diseases, Volume 34, No. 2, (Apr. – Jun., 1990), pages 488-490.
Eberhard Fuchs and Silke Cobach-Sohle. 2010. Tree shrews in The UFAW handbook on the care and management of laboratory and other research animals, 8th ed. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell, pages 262-275.
Loren S. Putnam. 1949. The Life History of the Cedar Waxwing. The Wilson Bulletin, pages 141-182.
My thoughts on this are going towards the caloric intake in fruits and berries that are fermented or are in the process of fermenting. It seems to me that it might be higher than when the fruits and berries have just freshly ripened.
Eva M. Sehub,Alan C. Logan, and Alison C. Bested. 2014. Fermented foods, microbiota, and mental health: ancient practice meets nutritional psychiatry. Journal of Physiological Anthropology. Article 332.
Is it just the birds or do other creatures like a little drink now and then too?
Cheryl D. Knott. 1998. Changes in Orangutan Caloric Intake, Energy Balance, and Ketones in Response to Fluctuating Fruit Availability. International Journal of Primatology. Volume 19, No. 6, pages 1061
Reading a bit further and another thought occurred to me! Higher caloric intake for wildlife, just before winter sets in, would be useful for survival. Putting on a little weight to get through the cold dark nights. Can the fermentation of fruits provide other contributions to survival?
James O. Vafidis, Ian P. Vaughan, T. Hefin Jones, Richard J. Facey, Rob Parry, Robert J. Thomas. 2014. Habitat Use and Body Mass Regulation among Warblers in the Sahel Region during the Non-Breeding Season. PLOS One. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0113665
Mark C. Witmer. 1996. Annual Diet of Cedar Waxwings Based on U.S. Biological Survey Records (1885-1950) Compared to Diet of American Robins: Contrasts in Dietary Patterns and Natural History. The Auk. Volume 113, No. 2, Pages 414-430.
So, if the intoxicating fruits and berries are a good thing, why are some birds overdoing it? Now? Could it be that there is less competition for these yummy morsels? Fewer birds equals more party favours?
Jennifer A. Howard. 2014. The Lesser Coverts of Game Birds. Booth, Volume 6, No. 2, Page 1-2.
Probably not the best answer to my question but, a very good short story! One that has me thinking a bit further off-track than usual. I will come back to this story for another post.
And then, there are people….
Laren Cordain, S. Boyd Eaton, Anthony Sebastian, Neil Mann, Staffan Lindeberg, Bruce A Watkins, James H. O’Keefe, and Janette Brand-Miller. 2005. Origins and evolution of the Western diet: health implications for the 21st century. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Volume 81, pages 341-354.
Manas Ranjan Swain, Marimuthu Anandharaj, Ramesh Chandra Ray, and Rizwana parveen Rani. 2014. Fermented Fruits and Vegetables of Asia: A Potential Source of Probiotics. Hindawi Publishing Corporation Biotechnology Research International. http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/250424
And, because we can think of other things to do with ethanol products…
Veeranjaneya Reddy Lebaka, Hwa-Won Ryu, and Young-Jung Wee. 2014. Effect of fruit pulp supplementation on rapid and enhanced ethanol production in very high gravity (VHG) fermentation. SpringerLink. doi: 10.1186/s40643-014-0022-8
And thinking along these lines… maybe we need to look at chronic diseases that may have some beginning in the foods that are available to us now as well as those that we choose to eat a lot of and, without competition, possibly eat a little too regularly – much like the small woodland creatures and birds in the first few articles.
Your thoughts are important to me and to continuing this as a discussion. Please comment….