Birds do slur their speech like humans when drunk

Study found that birds do slur if they are drunk just like humans. Researchers from Oregon Health and Science University drugged the bird and observed vital acoustic changes in its songs. According to Researchers, the bird has been chosen because its song learning manner is similar to human’s speech learning so it would be a gateway for understanding the impact of alcohol on birds. “No visible effect on bird’s health and general behavior has been observed” says Researchers.

According to a new study, there is not a big difference between inebriated humans and inebriated birds. Both the species slur words when they consume alcohol.

Researchers from the Oregon Health and Science University spiked the juices of zebra finches and then observed their behavior. They found that the birds slurred their songs. The researchers believe that this finding will help them understand the neural processes underlying birdsongs and also shed light on human speech.


Researchers have always wanted to understand the effects of alcohol on the complex system of speech. They turned to birds, because it is difficult to perform the necessary studies on humans. The zebra finches were ideal for the experiment as they have been often used by researchers because the humans and zebra finches share a number of similarities. For example, both the species learn how to talk by hearing the sound sequences around them. In humans, children learn it from their parents and zebra finches learn it from their fathers. Only male zebra finches can sing.

In the study, researchers gave white grape juice to one group of birds, and a mixture of the juice and ethanol to another group. They found a various number of effects on different aspects of the birdsongs, which the birds sang. The difference was particularly observed on their amplitude and entropy. The inebriated birds weren’t able to sing as loudly, and they couldn’t keep their song’s normal structure stable.

However, the inebriated birds didn’t seem to suffer other sorts of issues, which drunk humans face, such as movement trouble, balance trouble or drowsiness, etc. The birds seemed to suffer no drooped wings, no closed eyes or sudden sluggishness in their behavior or movement.

The researchers stated, “There are remarkable analogies in how zebra finch song and human speech are learned and produced. We did not detect visible effects on the birds’ general behaviors or health, as indicated by the normal appearance of feathers and the ability to perch, feed, maintain normal posture and fly inside the cage.