We’ve been underestimating birds for far too long. Here’s a great story about how Australian cockatoos have figured out how to open lidded trash bins and how the knowledge has been spreading through local populations via social learning. There are even regional cockatoo cultures which differ in which bin-opening technique the local birds use.
Crafty cockatoos master dumpster diving and teach each other
“Teach each other” is a bit of an exaggeration, but they do learn from each other.
People have tried weighting the lids with rocks and bricks, but cockatoos have figured out how to deal with that, too. Watch this cockatoo systematically dismantle the defenses in order to get at the trashy goodies:
The same group did a follow-up study on the “arms race” between cockatoos and humans:
Cockatoos in ‘arms race’ against Australians over rubbish bins
Defeating the cockatoos isn’t trivial, because solutions have to keep cockatoos out while still allowing the lids to flop open when the garbage truck lifts and tilts the bins.
You MUST be doing better, keiths!
That’s all I care about.
Disagreements aside when human dignity is on the line.
Do you have any tips how to keep raccoons out, a bit? I love the creatures but they poo right in front of my son’s room window because we built a sunroom/green house there that gives them an access to that area. All I want is for them to poo somewhere else… lol
There are various liquid and solid animal repellents on the market but I don’t know how well they work.
It isn’t clear from your description, but are the raccoons coming through some kind of opening? If so, could you cover the opening with chicken wire or some kind of mesh?
Raccoons used to come into my yard and menace my cats, so I would spray them with a Super Soaker. They seemed to hate being sprayed as much as cats do. To maximize their terror, I would chase and spray them all the way back to the storm drains from which they had emerged.
It wasn’t practical to stand guard every night, of course, but the experience was apparently traumatic enough that they would steer clear of my yard for a while after being sprayed.
Remembering that got me wondering whether anyone was selling some sort of motion-detector-based animal sprayer, so I looked around online and found several. Here’s one:
Orbit Enforcer Motion-Activated Sprinkler
Raccoons are lovely, intelligent creatures, and I bear them no ill will in general, but they cross a red line when they start messing with my cats.
I don’t have any pets. Not yet. I told my kids and wife if they want to pet someone, they can pet me anytime… lol I’m the only pet they are going to get until I officially retire. Then, I may get a dog and a cat at the some time…
What do you think? Good or bad idea?
We have bears. In three years I forgot just once to put the bin in the garage, and woke up with garbage everywhere.
There’s no particular reason why cats and dogs can’t get along. Plenty of them do. It’s really just a matter of their individual personalities and how much exposure they’ve had to the other species. They often get along fine, and they may even bond, as shown in the image below.
I would advise against getting both at the same time. If you’ve never had pets before, it’s best to start with one, learn the ropes, get some experience under your belt, and then decide whether to adopt another. And even if you do have pet experience, you don’t want a situation where the animals are getting used to you, the house, and each other all at the same time. Best to adopt separately.
Wild Cockatoos Make Cutlery Sets
ETA: another video
More avian tool use:
Woodpecker Finch Finds Food With Tools
Another example of animal intelligence:
A cuttlefish passes the marshmallow test!
Can this Cuttlefish Pass an Intelligence Test Designed for Children?
It’s hard not to feel sympathy for the crayfish, who get thrown to the cuttlefish like Christians to the lions.
My niece wrote “Those poor crayfish have no chance to pass the marshmallow test because they ARE the marshmallow.”
Cats were used in a lot of early research because they are very good at escape.
“Bizarre” Octopuses Carry Coconuts as Instant Shelters
Scientists are blown away by octopuses discovered tip-toeing with coconut-shell halves suctioned to their undersides, then reassembling the halves and disappearing inside—a rare example of animal tool use, a new study says.
Dolphins Can Call Each Other, Not by Name, But by Whistle
“The discovery that a dolphin can imitate the signature whistle of another offers a glimpse of how these marine mammals converse.”
Facial recognition in wasps:
Like humans, wasps seem to recognize faces as more than the sum of their parts
Experiment suggests social wasps evolved an efficient facial recognition system