You have probably seen flocks of Juncos and Siskins and Goldfinches around and in the roads this time of year. The birds are attracted to the salt and grit the plows spread to de-ice the roads. The flocks become distracted / intoxicated by the salt, please slow down and give them a honk so the clear the way.

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“Why do the birds eat grit? salt? and not fly out of my vehicle’s way?”

An answer from “Those flocks of finches and juncos which we see along our roadways in the winter are eating dirt – they are ingesting the grit necessary to enable the gizzard to “chew” the seeds which they swallow whole… Coincidentally, they are also getting a good bit of salt as well, and this can present a problem for the birds… Too much salt is toxic, and so the birds are “intoxicated,”… That is, the birds don’t feel like moving and get run over, unless the approaching driver has a greater concern for the birds than getting somewhere…”

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