Seagulls get 'drunk' on flying ants

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Seagulls on Brighton beach during the hot weather
Seagulls on Brighton beach during the hot weather

Seagulls have been getting "drunk" on flying ants.

The big birds marched into the roads - ignoring the danger of cars and pedestrians - in Brighton, East Sussex, England on Tuesday (19.07.16) as the temperature rose above 30 in some places in a bid to gorge on the insects.

Dr Rebecca Nesbit, an entomologist with the Society of Biology, told Brighton's Argus newspaper that the ants produce a formic acid, which can lead to the gulls losing their safety awareness once demolished, and would explain why the birds weren't flying away from dangers.

Woodingdean wildlife expert Roger Musselle added: "I think they probably just like the flavour. It's fairly normal this time of year for it to happen because of the weather conditions. As soon as the flying ants come out you can see the gulls circling. They will go on to the grass or nearer roads where they can get to the ants."