Out of all the strange animals that fill Australia, the poor bin chicken gets little to no love. The white ibis trawls our towns and cities, scrummaging for food and generally causing mischief – its nickname, if a little mean-spirited, certainly fits. 

When you first come to Australia, you never forget your first sighting of a bin chicken. Not everyone, though, falls as deeply in love with them as SNL icon Kate McKinnon did. The actress was on The Tonight Show this week and proceeded to discuss the animal with host Jimmy Fallon in front of a seriously bemused audience.

While in Brisbane last year, McKinnon recalled that she “the most beautiful bird I had seen in my life.” She described the bin chicken as an animal with “beautiful white plumage” and a “long elegant beak”. Yes, a bin chicken. “What is this majestic heron just loose in the street?” she wondered. “I’ve been blessed here.”

When she then asked a passer by what the “gorgeous bird” in question was, she was thunderstruck when he simply replied, “that’s a bin chicken” (props to McKinnon’s comical Aussie-meets-Kiwi accent attempt at this part).

After doing some research, McKinnon was equally amazed to learn that Aussies “have about eight songs about how much they hate them (bin chickens).” Maybe this is the big break bin chickens needed all along. Maybe they’ll finally get some love in the public imagination now. Just maybe.

McKinnon was in Australia last year filming Joe vs. Carole, a new limited series based on the unforgettable Tiger King. She plays Carole Baskin, Joe Exotic’s one true nemesis. Joe vs. Carole is set to arrive on Peacock on Thursday, March 3rd.

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Check out Kate McKinnon discussing bin chickens on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon:

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