Migrating birds are likely to be drinking more alcohol than other domestic animals and some species may be using it to regulate their behaviour, scientists have warned.
Key points:Scientists say birds like the golden eagle drink more alcohol because they need to drink to regulate stress in the wild and have developed an alcohol toleranceMigratory and migratory birds can use alcohol as a natural defence against predatorsMigrating species may use alcohol to regulate behaviour and stress in their environmentScientists said it was unlikely to be a significant impact on people.
“The risk to human health is negligible,” Professor Chris Cairns from the University of Melbourne told ABC News.
“It’s probably only a very small percentage of the birds drinking at the moment that may be causing that concern, but it’s still very small, it’s probably in the thousands.”
“They’re actually going to drink the equivalent of a lot more than other animals in terms of alcohol consumption.”
Drinking alcohol in the water source ABC Fact Check examines the evidence about whether drinking water is safe and legal to drink in Australia.
The golden eagle is one of the world’s largest birds, with an estimated range of about 10,000 square kilometres.
It’s one of only two species that can drink alcohol, the other being the black-headed warbler.
The birds drink water in their urine.
The Golden Eagle is a migratory species that flies at night and visits rivers in search of food and water.
It uses urine to urinate in order to flush itself from the bladder.
Drinking and urinating on a migrator bird’s back is considered a natural defensive behaviour.
“When they’re drinking, the urine is being collected and flushed away,” Professor Cairn said.
“That’s why they’re so good at doing that, because it removes all the carbon dioxide from the urine.”
In the wild, they’re usually drinking from the same source, which is their tail.
“They don’t urinate from their stomach.”
The golden eagle in its natural habitatMigrations, especially migratory ones, are not always the most healthy of habits.
“I’m not sure why we’d be concerned about a little bit of urine washing up on a farm, but I do think that’s a potential source of contamination, particularly in a wild population,” Professor Nicky Trew, from the Monash University School of Veterinary Sciences, told ABC Fact Checks.
“A little bit is a risk to your health and well-being, but the risks are not very significant.”
Drunk and dehydrated?
Professor Trew said it could be possible for some species to use urine to make a natural drinking solution.
“For instance, some of the black bears that we’ve seen drinking from streams, we know they do this naturally, they have glands in their abdomen that they secrete urine that they use to flush themselves out of the bladder,” she said.
“There are some black bears who are in captivity who do this, and I think it’s possible for them to do it naturally.”
But we don’t know for sure.
“Prof Cairnes said it’s difficult to say how much urine an animal is actually using to flush out.”
Drinks a lot of water?”
It may be something that they’ve developed, or it may be a new technology that they’re developing that allows them to urate their urine in their tails and it’s a natural reaction.”
Drinks a lot of water?
Drinking water in the open water is not safe or recommended.
Professor Cairnas said the golden eagles, which are the world largest migratory bird, drank a lot.
“We’ve actually seen some of these birds drinking the same volume of water in water that they would in a swimming pool or lake,” he told ABC Radio Melbourne.
“What that suggests is that they may be going swimming a lot, which they do, but they are not necessarily swimming in the same amount of water.”
If they are drinking a lot from the tails, they might be swimming at a slightly slower pace, they may not be as strong.
“Professor Cairs research group at Monash is currently analysing water samples from lakes in the north-east of New South Wales.
The golden eagle, with its large belly and big, white bill, is an important migratory food source for migratory black bears and brown bears, and for some other animals.
The researchers said there was no evidence that the birds were consuming water from rivers or streams that they might normally be in, or that the water was being polluted by humans.
An eagle is seen