bird that has been widely reviled in Australia for decades has undergone image change. The reason is that it is helping to get rid of even bigger nuisance - invasive cane toad. The bird is white ibis, which is indigenous to Australia. It is viewed as pest by many Australians because of its propensity to scavenge food from garbage bags and trash cans. It even steals food right out of people's hands. People nickname them "bin chicken". word "bin" is Australian and British English for trash can. The birds are now being viewed in positive light. They have adapted and learnt how to eat the poisonous and destructive cane toad. As result, Australia's natural habitat is benefitting.
Cane toads were introduced to Australia in 1930s. Sugar farmers thought they would help in eradicating beetle that was devastating their crops. However, toads soon began to wreak havoc as they rapidly spread across countryside. They ate many insects and small animals to point of extinction. Their toxin is strong enough to kill most native animals that eat frogs and toads. They had no natural predators in Australia, until white ibis learnt to rid them of their venom and gulp them up. Australian journalist said ibises pick the toads up and "flick them about". The stress of this makes toads release all their poison. ibises then wash them in water and gobble them down.