Keio cares about feathered life and its customers, and has a way to keep them both happy.

The Keio network of railway lines connects downtown Tokyo with the city’s western outskirts, making it a great way for city dwellers to head out to green spaces such as Mt. Takao and Inokashira Park. But the company doesn’t just want people to coexist happily with nature outside its stations, but inside them as well.

On Tuesday, Keio put out an official press release to let everyone know that as of this month, it’ll be making some temporary additions to its stations, which are themselves in response to temporary in-station additions that the rail operator itself had no part in constructing. See, swallows like to build nests in the eaves and passageways of some of Keio’s stations, and rather than knock them down and force the birds to relocate, the company is installing special plates/baskets underneath the nests.

As much as Japan loves cute animals and respects nature, it also values cleanliness, and these protrusions are set up to catch poo, so that it doesn’t fall onto the floor or, worse, people passing through on their way to/from the trains. And because designers in Japan never miss a chance to add adorable artwork to their creations, the underside of the plates feature an illustration of a happy swallow family, plus Keio’s anthropomorphic train mascot characters Keita-kun and Shingo-kun.

▼ The plates are, of course, entirely opaque.

Keio admits that it can’t guarantee the plates will keep the area underneath the nests spotless, and also says that in some cases, the dimensions/layout of the station may prevent it from being able to install the poo blockers. Still, it asks for customers’ understanding over the next few months, as the plates will be in place from April until July, coinciding with the nesting/child rearing period for swallows. “This project is to prevent inconveniences for our customers, while also taking into consideration the living environment of the swallows and biodiversity,” says Keio.

It’s a heartwarming policy that’s benefits both baby birds and poo-averse commuters, and really the only downside is if you’re trying to get crapped on by a bird like we were the other day.

Source: Keio
Top image: Wikipedia/市川太一
Insert images: Keio
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