Sydneysiders And Cockatoos Can’t Stop Fighting Over Wheelie Bins & Get Them On Dr Phil, I Say

Sulphur-crested cockatoo eating vegetation and saying "hehe"

Today I learned cockatoos and Sydneysiders can’t stop beefing with each other over wheelie bins. They walked so Olivia Wilde and Florence Pugh could run.

Basically, sulphur-crested cockatoos are obsessed with rummaging through peoples’ wheelie bins. But how can a wee bird that doesn’t have hands open a big ol’ bin lid, you ask? Well, last year a team of researchers discovered that cockies have learned how to flip bin lids by watching their cockatoo-y chums do it. Good for them.

But the people of south Sydney and Wollongong are not happy about it because the little scamps are making a mess and flinging rubbish around like it’s going out of fashion. Greta Thunberg has been found shaking.

Residents have been coming up with ways to stop the scavenging cockies from ransacking their wheelie bins, such as fanging a heavy brick on top of the lid and jamming shoes between the hinges.

Now, the same team of researchers have investigated these methods and come to, quite frankly, a hilarious conclusion: cockies are still finding ways to crack into the bins, despite escalating tactics from humans to stop them.

As Daft Punk once said, the birds are getting harder, better, faster and stronger. It’ll only be a matter of time before Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is replaced with a cockatoo.

Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior behavioural ecologist Barbara Klump, who led the study, told the ABC the situation is becoming somewhat of “an ‘innovation arms race’ between the cockatoos and the people,” which is a truly iconic phrase.

Western Sydney University ecological research scientist and co-author of the study John Martin wrote an article for The Conversation detailing the team’s observations.

They found found whacking a brick, some wood, metal or a bottle filled with water on top of the bin lid isn’t always successful. While it sounds like a stellar idea, cockies can push the object off with their beaks if it’s light enough.

But apparently securing these objects to the top or underside of the lid works better ‘cos it permanently weighs down the lid. Although cockies are clever cookies, they’re not smart enough to dislodge a brick that’s been bolted onto a bin lid.

Weaving a metal spring or a stick through the bin handle or hinge was a bit hit-and-miss, as was tying these parts of the bin down with a rope or bungee cord.

Some people even went to the extent of attaching custom locks to the bin lids. Although they didn’t let cockies in, the locks allowed the bins to open come bin day — a double whammy.

Techniques that did jack shit included sticking rubber snakes to the bin lids so they’d scare the cockies, and making it harder for the birds to sit or walk on the bin lids by putting netting and the like on them. It’s giving anti-homeless architecture but for cockatoos.

I, for one, welcome the brainy birds. Flip the lids until the cows come home, I say.