Despite everyone calling them bin chickens and treating them like a nuisance in the cities, ibis birds are actually helping Australia with its cane toad issue. Damn, after years of lamenting their mere existence they’re still doing something that benefits our environment.
Per the ABC, scientists on the Gold Coast have spotted the humble bird friends using something called the “stress and wash” method to make the toads safe for them to gobble down.
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Emily Vincent, the local coordinator of Watergum’s Cane Toads program, told ABC News it was “quite amusing” to watch the birds prepare their hoppy meal because it’s different to how other animals eat the poisonous pests.
“The ibis will pick up cane toads and they will flick them about and stress out the toads,” she said.
“What this does is it makes the cane toads release toxins from the parotoid gland at the back of their neck, which is their defence mechanism when they’re faced with predators.
“Then they’ll take them down to the creek and wash them.”
Imagine being down the creek on a walk and you get to witness that. Just stopping dead in your tracks as an ibis stalks and snatches a cane toad, shakes the shit out of it and then washes it in the creek before eating it. You’d straight up feel like David Attenborough watching nature take its course.
My God, they’re just so smart I can’t get over it. All that time of chowing down on rubbish after humanity destroyed their swampy homes and displaced them and yet they’re still coming up with ingenious ways to do their bit for the native bushland.
That’s it, I’m Team Ibis now. Love those hooked-beak freaks so much. If there’s ever a time to invest in the weird little guys it’s right now, especially if they can help eradicate those uninvited toad-y jerks.