birding-aus High tech birds

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: birding-aus High tech birds
From: "Reg Clark" <>
Date: Mon, 28 Jun 1999 13:32:32 +1000
Hi all,

The following  interesting report appeared on the US Birdchat list:.
A couple of nights ago it was shown on Danish television
how a pair of Barn Swallows had tought themselves to
operate a very large garagedoor.

The workers at a factory had been wondering how the
10 by 8 foot door seemingly opened by itself every now
and then.  A guard was called, and while he was looking,
suddenly the door slowly swung up.  Nobody went in or out.
It took a while for the guys to figure out why, and a crew
from the televison was called.

It was filmed (at different angles and slow motion) that the
Barn Swallow hovered right in front of the electronic eye
and cut the infrared beam. As soon as the door began to
move, the Swallow swooped down and under the door to
get to the nest inside the large garage to feed the chicks.

It performed this trick so elegantly. Came flying in with
insects, hovered a second or two, and Open Sesame, the
door opened.

I wonder how this little bird has been able to make the
connection cutting an invisible light beam some three or
four  feet above the ground? It clearly flew to the same spot
very close to the electronic eye each time.

I will not call it intelligence, but it surely was not born
knowing about high tech, was it?

Ole Post
Hillerod, Denmark

Reg Clark
11 Carmen St
St Ives NSW 2075
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