Cedar Waxwings / Flying Under the Influence

Cedar Waxwings - Flying Under the Influence

The Cedar Waxwing is a silky, pale yellow perching bird that breeds in North America. Although not seen in this photography, the Waxwing gets its name form the "sealing wax" looking vibrant red tips at the end of its secondary wings. The tail-tip is typically yellow (or orange). Male and female cedar waxwings look alike. They primarily eat berries and other fruit.

It is believed that Waxwings, upon consuming fruits that have fermented on the vine, become intoxicated and as a result fly irregularly and even get into accidents, running into cars, buildings and glass windows. They are vulnerable to alcohol poisoning, and may die as a consequence.

Waxwings get into trouble Flying Under the Influence. We humans also get into all sorts of trouble due to alcohol consumption. In the United States, approximately 1.5 Million arrests are made for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) each year. About a half a million DUI offenders are in prison. Besides the long term detrimental health effects of alcohol consumption, alcohol is responsible for approximately 40,000 traffic fatalities each year, and it is implicated in many other accidents and acts of violence. Quoting the 13th century mystic poet, Rumi:
  • If the wine drinker has a deep gentleness in him, he will show that, when drunk.
  • But if he has hidden anger and arrogance, those appear,
  • and since most people do, wine is forbidden to everyone.
  • -- from The Essential Rumi
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