Sulphur-crested cockatoos learn to open wheelie bins in Sydney
Wild sulphur-crested cockatoos Down Under have learned how to open residential garbage-can lids and loot the leftovers, a new study finds. And apparently, the birds are learning this trick from one another.
One bird in a far-flung neighborhood even invented another lid-opening technique, which quickly spread to cockatoos in nearby suburbs.
"We observed that the birds do not open the garbage bins in the same way, but rather used different opening techniques in different suburbs, suggesting that the behavior is learned by observing others," study lead researcher Barbara Klump, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior in Radolfzell, Germany, said in a statement.
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Sulphur-crested cockatoos (Cacatua galerita), natives of eastern Australia, are large-brained, long-lived and highly social parrots, the researchers said. A few years ago, study co-researcher Richard Major, a senior principal research scientist at the Australian Museum Research Institute who studies urbanization's effects on birds, showed a friend a video of a cockatoo opening a residential garbage-can lid. In the video, the cockatoo opens the lid …
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