Bin There, Done That: Cockatoos Learn to Lift Trash Lids

Not every resident would be thrilled, but ornithologist Richard Major was impressed by the ingenuity.

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In this 2019 photo provided by researcher Barbara Klump, a sulphur-crested cockatoo lifts the lid of a trash can while several others watch in Sydney, Australia. At the beginning of 2018, researchers received reports from a survey of residents that birds in three Sydney suburbs had mastered the novel foraging technique. By the end of 2019, birds were lifting bins in 44 suburbs. (Barbara Klump/Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior)
Image via AP Photo/Barbara Klump

This article was republished here with permission from The Associated Press, however it is no longer available to read on Snopes.com.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A few years ago, a Sydney scientist noticed a sulfur-crested cockatoo opening his trash bin. Not every resident would be thrilled, but ornithologist Richard Major was impressed by the ingenuity. It’s quite a feat for a bird to grasp a bin lid with its beak, pry it open, then shuffle far enough along the bin’s edge that the lid falls backward – revealing edible trash treasures inside. Intrigued, Major teamed up with…

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