birding-aus Sulphur-crested Cockatoo carrying a tool?

Subject: birding-aus Sulphur-crested Cockatoo carrying a tool?
From: "jon wren" <>
Date: Fri, 26 Nov 1999 04:35:40 PST
Gooday all,
Yesterday, Thursday 25 November 1999, I was passing through the Collinsville (20.33S 147.50E) area towards McNaughton Mine. At first I thought I spotted an Egret settled atop a dead tree adjacent to the rail track. First indication was a white bird with a longish bill, hence Egret. However the jizz was not quite right so out with the glasses. It turned out to be a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo holding a 15-20cm stick of similar thickness to a lead pencil in its bill. The bird flew still holding the stick in its bill and eventually landed in another tree a short distance away. During the observation the bird did not raise its crest or call. Has this species learnt to utilise tools or was the stick a gift for a future mate? I have checked HANZAB and failed to locate any details for this type of behaviour.

Jon Wren
PO Box 868
Bowen (Climate Capital of Australia)
Queensland Australia 4805
Phone 07 4786 2614H Mobile 0412 789 285

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