Determined cockatoo finds cheeky way into rubbish bin

A resident having an ongoing battle with cockatoos wreaking havoc on his bins has caught on camera one determined bird nuzzling its way in.

The footage shows the sulphur-crested cockatoo atop a red lidded bin using its beak and claws to push a heavy brick off the wheelie bin in order to get to the rubbish inside.

Brett Sweetnam, from Barden Ridge in Sydney’s south, told Yahoo News Australia he filmed the video outside his house in early January 2017 as he tried to figure out how to deal with the pesky bin invaders.

“There are huge numbers of them (the cockatoos) that wreak havoc from the south and southwest of Sydney, all the way down past Wollongong,” he explained.

In an effort to try and deal with the birds, Mr Sweetnam began utilising his skills as a mechanical engineer and made a bin latch he hoped would put a stop to the ongoing problem having his rubbish scattered all over his street and front garden on bin days.

Sulphur-crested cockatoo removes brick from bin in southern Sydney.
Brett Sweetnam's battle with the bin-raiding cockatoos in his area began in early 2017. Source: Secure-A-Lid / Brett Sweetnam

“I then spent all of 2017 developing and testing the product,” he said.

Much to the annoyance of the cockatoos, Mr Sweetnam was eventually able to come up with a nifty latch that kept his lid secure despite the crafty birds who tried their best to gnaw through it.

The invention also unlatched automatically during bin collection, thanks to its gravity-assisted swinging arm.

After that, he got the idea to try and make a business out of it and Secure-A-Lid was born.

“I didn’t have the initial intent of creating a business from this. I was just doing it to solve my individual problem, but I quickly realised it was a great little product and decided to go for it,” he said.

Mr Sweetnam shared the before video of the cockatoo getting into his bin on his business’s Facebook page, and it recently went viral.

“Whatever your goal in life, never give up!” read Secure-A-Lid’s accompanying caption with the video.

Six sulphur-crested cockatoos try to get into bin.
An early prototype of the bin latch Brett Sweetnam developed was successful in "ruffling their feathers". Source: Secure-A-Lid / Brett Sweetnam

The video was quickly picked up by Facebook pages with huge audiences like LADbible and Viral Trend and in two days had collectively amassed more a million views and tens of thousands of reactions and shares.

People from all over the world expressed delight over the cheeky cockatoo.

“Amazing would never [have] believed it,” one man said.

Another added: “What!!!! Amazing!!!! Smart and beautiful. Dangerous combination!!!”

“Bravo, amazing cocky,” someone else said.

Another man called the invention “Australian ingenuity at its finest”.

One woman summed it up well: “They are so clever, but a bloody nuisance.”

For more information about Secure-A-Lid’s cockatoo-proof bin latch, check out their website:

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