From Chapter Six
The most famous example of "collective drunkenness" in birds is that of American robins during their annual February migration to California, and in particular to the small town of Pleasant Hill. The amazing behavior of these birds on their arrival first made news in the 1930s.
Once they reach California, flocks of thousands of robins (the species Turdus migratorius
) perch on small ornamental trees popularly known as California holly, though the Native Americans of the region call this scarlet fruit toyon. At this time of year the trees are laden with scarlet fruits called Christmas or holly berries. The robins,...