Bin Chickens Finally Find A Reason To Exist
Toadally valid reason to exist.
It pains me to inform you that we’ve finally found a good use for the ibis, the divisive bird that continues to stun international tourists like Kate McKinnon.
As it turns out, in addition to eating our human rubbish, the bin chicken also loves to eat nature’s trash — the cane toad.
According to the ABC, the bin chicken has found a way to “stress and wash” the cane toad to remove toxins, then feast on them like they’re an HSP after a big night out.
“It’s quite amusing to watch and it’s quite different from other native species and their methods of eating them,” Gold Coast coordinator of Watergum’s Cane Toads program Emily Vincent told the ABC.
“The ibis will pick up cane toads and they will flick them about and stress out the toads.”
“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.”
Since their introduction into Australia in 1935, cane toads have been a big pain. For starters, they never even solved the problem they were introduced to fix — eradicating the cane beetle problem that was destroying crops. But if that wasn’t bad enough, cane toads are famously poisonous — which is not great for their population control.
However, the bin chicken — master of eating things it probably shouldn’t — has come to the rescue and is gobbling those bad boys down like it’s their goddamn job.
“This is a learned behaviour and it’s been observed in multiple different regions,” said Vincent.
“I think it will have an impact, especially as more species tag along and copy the behaviour.”
As someone who has recently learned first-hand the troubling fact that ibises can fly, I am not stoked that they are now getting the good guy edit in this story. But allies come in all shapes and sizes I guess, here’s hoping that we can mechanise these shameless sky rats into obliterating cane toads once and for all.