Hungry cockatoos are waging war on Tasmania's opium-producing poppy
Added 02-16-20 02:18:02am EST - “Poppy-pillaging parrots are the latest scourge of farmers in Tasmania. Flocks of hundreds of cockatoos are ravaging the fields of farmers who grow the plants that produce that bagel and kaiser roll?” - Nypost.com
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Flocks of hundreds of cockatoos are ravaging the fields of farmers who grow the plants that produce that bagel and kaiser roll mainstay — poppy seeds — on the Australian island, but experts caution it’s likely not due to an addiction to the opioid-producing plants.
“The crop is about [11.8 acres] and the best estimation is that at least a third of the crop had been severely damaged by cockies,” Keith Rice, of Poppy Growers Tasmania, told Australia’s ABC.
Some farmers down under have accused the cockatoos of just looking to get loopy on the alkaloid found in the poppies’ seeds.
But scientists believe the birds are more likely enjoying the poppy’s high source of fat and protein, the Guardian reported.
“I actually think it is a case of these intelligent birds discovering and exploiting a new food resource rather than them becoming the junkies of the bird world,” a spokesperson from BirdLife Australia told the paper.
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