Can Birds Get High? Exploring Avian Intoxication

Have you ever wondered if birds can get high? It’s a fascinating question, and one that we’re going to explore in this article. Birds have a unique physiology and behavior, so it’s natural to wonder if certain substances or activities can affect them in the same way they do humans.

In this article, we’ll delve into the topic and provide some interesting insights into whether birds can experience a similar altered state of mind. From their ability to fly to their keen senses, we’ll explore the potential impact of substances like drugs and alcohol on our feathered friends. So sit back, relax, and let’s find out if birds can really get high!

Can Birds Get High?


Birds are fascinating creatures that inhabit our world, displaying an incredible diversity of behaviors and adaptations. As humans, we often wonder about how certain substances and activities could affect animals around us.

One question that may come to mind is, can birds get high? In this article, we will delve into this curious topic and explore the relationship between birds and substance use.

Birds and Substance Use

It may surprise some to learn that birds, like humans and other animals, have been observed engaging in substance use to alter their behavior or state of consciousness.

While it may not be as prevalent or diverse as in humans, there are instances where birds have been known to seek out and consume substances to experience intoxication or alter their mental states.

Intoxication in the Wild

In the wild, some species of birds have been observed engaging in intoxication behavior by consuming fermented fruits.

These fruits may contain traces of alcohol due to the natural fermentation process. Birds are attracted to the smell and taste of these fruits, and their consumption can often lead to a drunken-like state. This behavior has been observed in various bird species, including parrots, pigeons, and thrushes.

Plants and Substances Affecting Birds

Birds can also be affected by the consumption of certain plants and substances. Some plants contain psychoactive compounds that can have intoxicating effects on birds.

For example, the ingestion of certain berries or seeds can lead to altered mental states or behavioral changes in birds. Additionally, exposure to certain chemicals or pollutants in the environment can also impact birds’ behavior and overall well-being.

Effects of Substance Use on Birds

Similar to the effects of substance use in humans, birds may experience a range of effects when consuming intoxicating substances. These effects can vary depending on the type of substance consumed and the individual species of bird.

Some birds may exhibit altered motor skills, impaired cognitive abilities, or changes in social behavior. In extreme cases, substance use can even lead to health issues or mortality for birds.

Birds and Cannabis

As cannabis becomes more widely legalized and used for recreational and medicinal purposes, questions arise about its impact on various animals, including birds. While there is limited research on the effects of cannabis specifically on birds, it is important to note that birds have a different biology and metabolism compared to mammals. Thus, the effects may differ from those observed in humans or other animals.

Birds and Alcohol

Alcohol consumption by birds has been observed in the wild, particularly in species that have access to fermented fruits or nectar. Just like humans, excessive alcohol consumption can have negative effects on birds, including impaired coordination, difficulty in flight, and increased risk of accidents or predation. It is crucial to remember that alcohol is toxic to birds, and any accidental exposure should be avoided.

Birds and Other Substances

In addition to alcohol and certain plants, birds can be affected by various other substances. These substances can include chemicals found in pesticides, cleaning agents, or other household products. Exposure to these substances can result in poisoning, respiratory issues, or other health problems for birds. It is important to take precautions to ensure the safety of birds and minimize their exposure to toxic substances.

Understanding Birds’ Reactions

It is vital to understand that the reactions and effects of substance use on birds may differ from what we observe in humans. Birds have unique physiological and neurological systems, which can result in different responses to substances. Further research is needed to fully comprehend the impact of substances on birds and develop a more comprehensive understanding of their experiences.


In conclusion, birds can indeed experience altered states of consciousness or intoxication through the consumption of certain substances. While the behavior may not be as prevalent or diverse as in humans, observations of birds seeking out and consuming substances for intoxication have been documented.

It is essential for us, as responsible stewards of the environment, to be mindful of the potential impact of substances on birds and to take steps to ensure their safety and well-being. By gaining a deeper understanding of these fascinating creatures, we can better appreciate and protect the incredible diversity of life on our planet.


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