Nice photo Peter.
This sounds like a very weird situation. You would think that a bird that
had been intoxicated from fermented nectar would be a bit "groggy" for a
while and then slowly come back to sobriety. It is a bit strange that a bird
species that rarely visits this area should end up involved in this
situation. Perhaps it was not coping with the colder weather of southern
The actual symptoms appear to be similar to the effects of a "pest bird"
chemical called alphachloralose that is used to send birds into a comatose
state. According to some websites I looked at, alphachloralose acts as a
narcotic. The bait is fed to groups of birds and they all become comatose.
The "pest" species are despatched while the "non-pest" species are kept warm
and recover to fly away after 30 minutes or so. I do not know how widely it
is used but it may be that some local farmers were using it to eliminate
cockies or corellas.
Go Birding Tours
On 7/2/07, <>
Out at Anakie, Victoria on the weekend, there was a Fuscous Honeyeater
'sleeping' in the middle of the road. I thought it was a small marsupial
at first, since its head was tucked under its wing.
After keeping it warm for about 45 minutes, it eventually recovered and
flew strongly back into a tree full of honeyeaters and fed normally.
It may have been clipped by a car and stunned, but it didn't have any
signs of injury and was very unflustered about me picking it up. It almost
Fuscous Honeyeaters are rarely recorded this far south, but this year
there has been an influx due to the drought. I'm thinking that this bird
may have been 'resting' in a percieved safe location after a long
migration. ( or perhaps upcoming mirgation) Is this likely? Has anyone
else observed birds 'sleeping' during the day, when its not related to
I've put a photo of the bird, as this weeks photo on my 'photo of the
week' page if anyones interested in seeing the bird.
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