Sulphur-crested cockatoos’ ability to pry open bins has spread across 44 suburbs in only two years Sulphur-crested cockatoos learn to open wheelie bins in Sydney – video Sulphur-crested cockatoos are learning from each other to open wheelie bins in order to scavenge for food and the behaviour is rapidly catching on across Sydney , according to new research. With help from the public, Australian and German ecologists have documented cockatoos learning the bin-diving behaviour through social interactions, with reported sightings of the behaviour growing across Sydney in recent years. The researchers called on Australians to report sightings of cockatoos opening bin lids . Before 2018, bin foraging was sighted in only three suburbs in greater Sydney and Wollongong: Barden Ridge, Helensburgh and Sutherland. The ability to open bins had spread widely by the end of 2019, with sightings reported in 44 suburbs. Dr Barbara Klump of the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior in Germany, who was one of the study’s lead authors, said the behaviour spread more quickly to neighbouring areas than to suburbs farther away, suggesting the cockatoos were learning by observing others, rather than figuring out how to open bins by themselves. “It’s not popping up […]

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