Thug Life: Video Of Cockatoo Destroying Anti-Nesting Spikes Goes Viral

Photograph: Isaac Sherring-Tito
Photograph: Isaac Sherring-Tito

Lots of people around the world are going a little stir crazy these days, stuck at home obeying their government’s instructions to shelter in place and only go out for essentials, like grocery shopping and banking.

Isaac Sherring-Tito was passing the Town Centre Arcade, looked up and saw a sulphur crested cockatoo tearing away at spikes on the building’s ledge. The spikes just so happen to be placed there (and at many other locations around Australia) to prevent birds just like that one from pausing on the ledge and doing damage to varying degrees.

As we have deserted our towns, wild animals and birds have started visiting cities because human activity has lessened so drastically during the pandemic, and they sometimes get up to mischief that borders on criminal, but is nonetheless incredibly cute.

Something similar to this happened in Katoomba, Australia, in 2019, a city in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, even though back then coronavirus was just something found in a science text book.

Apparently, cockatoos are inclined toward bird brained activities like this one, and it was caught on video by Sherring-Tito, who soon received more than 17,000 shares and countless “likes” when he posted the footage on his social media account.

He entitled the video, “F–k the police,” as if capturing the bird’s deep annoyance with the rules. One can only imagine how much cockatoos are enjoying doing this these days, with so few people out and about.

According to Sean Dooley, editor of Australian Bird Magazine, the behaviour of the felonious cockatoo is not unusual at all. They have a tendency to cause trouble, he told news website the Guardian and love to flout the rules, no matter how much havoc they wreak.

They “seem to take great enjoyment” in causing trouble, he noted, “whether it is random vandalism or more strategic damage.” In other words, they occasionally get into hot water deliberately, and sometimes they seem to plan it, as though they are able to think ahead and plot out their next caper.

Cockatoos may have once been the rare species to bravely go to battle against measures taken to control their habits, but today they are not the only wildlife encroaching on urban environments and apparently getting a kick out of basking in areas previously crowded with people.

In Toronto, Canada, the country’s most densely packed city, with a population of more than three million, videos have been posted online of deer walking down suburban sidewalks, coyotes strolling through neighbourhoods, and even one of a mother fox with her newborn kits on a popular boardwalk in the city’s east end.

Toronto’s city officials had to plead with people not to feed the babies, because of course that would only cause issues with the mother fox, and not be nutritionally wise for the young foxes.

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One can only hope that when people start emerging from their homes, which of course they will as the number of cases of coronavirus begins to decline, that the wildlife has the good sense to retreat to its normal habitat. Otherwise, as everyone knows, when a confrontation occurs between man and beast, it is rarely the animal that wins the contest.


fmssolution is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival