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