The researchers also set up "ghost demonstrations," to determine Figaro's role in teaching the tool behavior. In the ghost demo, the scientists magnetically maneuvered nuts out from the cage toward Figaro as other cockatoos watched nearby.
Unimpressed by the spookiness of a ghost demo, the cockatoos were less likely to learn to use sticks this way - instead, most took up their sticks after watching Figaro's live demonstration. But Figaro's students didn't simply regurgitate their newfound knowledge of tools. The apprentices became even more adept than their teacher, according to the University of Oxford press release: