Plonk! Why Is a Melbourne Cockatoo Throwing Pots From a Balcony?

Cockatoos: The unbreakable punks of the animal kingdom. In 2012, these birds caused chaos in Wagga Wagga by chewing concrete off the Sturt Mall, tearing signs from buildings, and attacking the Historic Council Chambers. Moreover, in 2019, one of these critters was caught tearing anti-bird spikes from a building’s ledge. 

Which brings us to 2022. On Melbourne’s Flinders Lane, a cockatoo was filmed dropping actual pot plants from an apartment’s balcony. In said video, a pot plant fell at an absurd speed as a cockatoo loomed over their testament to physics from on high. 


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Roule Galette, who works at Croque Monsieur on Flinders Lane, wasn’t surprised by the cockatoo’s behaviour. 

“It happens every year. They mostly drop plants but also socks as well,” said Galette. 

However, an Animal Ecology Lab Researcher at Western Sydney University, John Martin, was taken aback by this bird’s actions. 

“Wilfully throwing pot plants off a multi-storey balcony is a new observation: It is bizarre and fascinating,” said Martin. 

“This bird might have thought this was fun, but we don’t know exactly what they are thinking. We see them swinging around on powerlines and having a laugh, and the human interpretation is there is an element of play.”

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The National Public Affairs Manager at Birdlife Australia, Sean Dooley, came to a similar conclusion. 

“You can’t really ascribe a malicious intent to them, but they do seem to fit the category of getting up to mischief.”

“Like pretty much everyone, I found it pretty hilarious. But, you know, then you see how high those plants are falling down, they could seriously injure or kill somebody. It’s a bit horrifying to watch, but it’s almost like the bird version of Jackass. You sort of want to look away, but you’re kind of intrigued as to what’s going to happen.”

In response to this situation, the City of Melbourne is reportedly going to determine if this is an ongoing issue or not. They’ve also asked Melburnians not to leave any food or plants on their balconies that could be stolen by a cheeky cockatoo.

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