Cockatoos in Australia learn to open trash bins | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

Cockatoos in Australia learn to open trash bins

5 September, 2021

Scientists say cockatoos in Australia are learning how to open trash bins by watching each other. This is called “social learning”, and it’s pretty unusual in the animal world.

Opening the bin isn’t easy. The cockatoos have to lift the heavy lid with their beaks and then walk along, pushing the lid up until it falls over. But once it’s open, they usually find food scraps inside.

When scientists first began studying the cockatoos in 2018, only three areas near Sydney had lid-opening cockatoos.

A year and a half later, cockatoos in 44 different areas knew the trick. The researchers could tell by the way the information was spreading that the cockatoos were learning the move by watching other cockatoos.

Though most cockatoos still can’t open a bin lid, they seem happy to wait for another bird to open it.