Cockatoos Become Drummers to Pick Up Chicks

Male palm cockatoos just might be the rock stars of the animal kingdom—but unsurprisingly, they mainly just do it for the chicks.

The Australian bird is the only animal other than humans known to use a custom-made tool to tap out a percussive beat, a new study says. While other animals, such as chimpanzees, enjoy drumming on sticks and logs, they don’t make their own musical implements to do it. (Read more about birds who use tools to get their dinner.)

“The cockatoo was clutching what looked like a stick and banging it on the trunk, and every so often he would pause, erect his amazing crest, and let out either a piping whistle or a harsh screech,” says

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