Automatic Doors? They’re Literally for the Birds in This University Building!

Automatic Doors? They’re Literally for the Birds in This University Building!

Ever since 1960, automatic entry doors and systems have provided universal access to millions of people. Today, we find them in supermarkets, hospitals, schools, shopping malls, and variety of other public buildings, and although they are not mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act in the U.S., they are still essential in making lives easier for many individuals. 

A recent video on YouTube shows that they are also making buildings accessible for… birds?

At the University of Victoria in British Columbia, a group of swallows had begun nesting in an underground parking garage. When the building was converted into a campus bike center, the birds soon learned to use the structure’s new automated doors by hovering long enough to trigger the mechanism that opens them. 

The birds, as seen in the photographer Grant Hughes’s video from May 17, are shown flying up to the door’s sensors and then flying back out of the building. The birds are also seen reentering the building in the same manner.

Hughes wrote in the description, “The swallows quickly learned how to trigger the motion detectors to open the doors and go in and out whenever they want. Smart birds!” The video currently has over 660,000 hits.

Animals frequently have a habit of entering human spaces, sometimes as pests and other times for amusement. In 2012, a monkey named Darwin, wearing a small coat, was found and filmed walking around outside an IKEA store in Toronto, Ontario.

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