Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Very very happy to wrap up another BH that used to be empty.
This BH was erected about 6 years ago and along the way it was more or less abandoned.
The house was build by a very well known contractor who have a string of failed BHs.
This BH was his last.
Three quarter through he quit the construction works and went missing.
The owner tried to get him and later found out that the office was no longer in operation.
This was a kind of shock and the owner have to find his way out to complete the BH.
Along the way the owner engaged a family friend who did know much and the BH was still with little birds.
The last straw was when those owls took over the BH.
One couple will come and once captured a new couple will take over.
In the end the owner surrendered and went around to look for a "Savior".
There is no use of running the BH with no one who is experienced enough to guide.
This was how I came into the whole picture.
I was asked to look into the BH and perhaps reactivate it.
The owner offer something which was too good to say no.
After collecting the BH keys I mobilized my staff and do up the the BH.
We focus on the top most floor. I assured the owner that once the total number of nests in the BH reaches 300-500 nests I will look into populating the middle floor.
One very crucial area to modify was the entrance hole areas.
The main entrance hole (LMB) was resized.
I prefer a 2.5 'X 3' in size. The lips were covered with planks.
Once done will install a hexagonal tweeter and 9 piezo tweeters.
The tweeters arrangements used the most effective way to pull those birds into the hole.
The precise technique is based on numerous trial and error.
The selected technique is proven and never fail me before.
The next was how to catch those owls. They must not be allowed to enter freely without any gadgets to stop them.
Worse is when they start to lay eggs and breed their babies inside the BH.
I opted for these two methods. Number one is the installation of 6" spikes on the lower frame of the LMB hole.
If they escape this spikes and entered the monkey house area there will be two owl traps waiting to catch them.
This special netting have not failed me before. Been using the same model and so far have captured at least 15 owls.
The amount of light entering the lmb hole is quite heavy. The best way to curb this light pollution is to erect a light blocking room. I instructed my workers to erect two walls to form a room with doors that are diagonal. This will eliminate a sizable amount of light.
The next method was to paint the walls of the monkey house and the light blocking room walls with black paint. It reduced the reflective light tremendously.
To entice those swiftlet to come inside and stay is to create a VIP room.
This was what I did at the back of the floor.
The VIP room looks nice and dark.
One very common problem with an old BH are those nesting planks. They are dusty and lots of foot marks.
I was hard working enough clean every one of them with salt water and later apply a layer of sp.
All these hard work will pay. With cleaner nesting planks those birds will not hesitate to be your tenant.
With adequate number of internal sound tweeters plus fake nests this BH looks more like a 6 star hotel.
Ready with the right amplifiers and the right sounds.
Prior to activating the BH the floor and walls were sprayed with Mutiara Aroma. Twice.
The moment those external and internal sounds were played they keep rushing inside.
They love the BH so much and they seem to be not scared of us.
A wonderful experience and another wonderful BH being turned around.
Posted by Pak Harry The Swiftlet Anthusiast !!! at 8:37:00 AM
Monday, October 24, 2016
Those people who are lucky and maybe have talent like me, will be more exposed to many things that are taking place in a new and old BHs.
The more BHs you visited the more you will learn about those swiftlet.
One observation which I will normally focus upon during every visit is to observe where will be the birds favorite locations to erect their nests.
If you can list them in a proper manner these will be their most likely places:
1) 90* corners. Their favorite and their is a very strong chance that until all these 90* corners are occupied only then they will start building beside it.
2) Above those internal sound tweeters. This seems to be another favorite location. What can be the very possible reasons? You need to know that when they entered your BH they will not be able to see with their naked eyes. Your BH is pitched black and the only thing that they can use is their ears. They will fly towards the tweeters. These tweeters, playing internal sound, will become their resting place. Once these couple are ready to mate the male will start searching the nearest location to the tweeter.
3) Fake Nests. Ar Pedas BH for example nearly 90% of the nests found inside it were on those plastic fake nests. About 4-5 were directly on the planks corners.
There are a few more but the 3 above seems to be their most preferred locations.
If they like these places my method of approach is to create them and not covering them.
If they like those 90* corners I would like to recommend that let them be opened and not covered with those corner cover woods.
If they like to erect their nest above those internal sound tweeters increase the tweeters number.
If they love to erect on those fake nests install as many as you can.
You should let them have those things that will make them happy.
You must remove or restrain yourself from installing something that make their life difficult.
Each of the three items mentioned to me are like those baits that we put on our fishing line.
Yes if you happened to love fishing you know that the best way to catch those fish is to hook a bait on your fish hook. If you put no bait the chances of hooking a fish is slim.
So why must you install those corner covers when you know that those swiftlet loves 90* corners?
Populate your nesting rooms first.
Once the nests population are adequate you can then look at methods to force those birds to erect their nests onto the straight planks.
Think about it and try not to cover those 90* corners.
Posted by Pak Harry The Swiftlet Anthusiast !!! at 1:00:00 PM
Saturday, October 22, 2016
I wonder what was in the mind of this BH contractor.
What was the main purpose of erecting this extension when I know for sure it will be the place where those owls will love to latch during its first visit.
The signs on the latch is clear and I think it is not the right thing to do.
Well maybe he wanted to walk around the latch every time he entered the BH monkey house area?
Maybe he wanted to stay longer up around the latch to view the surrounding?
No matter what he wanted to do you try not to use this technique.
I am not going to take it down but be rest assured I will be installing at least two owl traps inside this BH.
Just be careful and try to avoid following silly ideas.
This is one of those silly ideas.
Friday, October 21, 2016
The Pedas BH revamp operation, only the top most floor, is nearly over.
Very excited to launched it and hopefully those swiftlet will love what I have done.
Firstly was the LMB (main entrance hole) was restored from the old to the new shape. The entrance hole now is opened as such the size is 2.5' wide by 3' height. The opening is layered with wood so that mounting of tweeters will be much easier.
The connecting door from the entrance room to the nesting room now is moved to a better position. This time the birds need not make a 90* turns but can fly straight with just a small turn.
The strong light entering the main entrance hole is being reduced by erecting another room (light blocking room) just after the 1st room.
This will be the room where an LAL will be erected on its floor.
To make the back room more attracting I have decided to erect another wall that create the main VIP room.
This VIP room will be where those swiftlet will occupy and perhaps start their colony.
The new walls now create another VIP room that is located at the east of the floor. I called it as the 2nd VIP room.
Looks very well done and now what I need to do is to install those tweeters, fake nests, external sound tweeters and perhaps spray some aromas.
I have also mobilized 2 chicken coop humidifiers.
Once the revamp works is over will conduct a test run and see what kind of response those birds will do.
The aim is to do up the top floor and wait for the nests to touch 300 nests.
Once that is achieved the second floor will be repair to accommodate more birds in this BH.
It might take some time to achieve this but at this moment I think the top floor alone can cater for a sizable number.
The owner can now see the changes that will take place.
Her fear on the owls was well taken care of.
I have installed 2 owl traps inside the main entrance room and any time this predator entered they will be cornered.
Hopefully this Monday the BH will be put into operation.
Posted by Pak Harry The Swiftlet Anthusiast !!! at 5:44:00 PM
Saturday, October 15, 2016
Something seems to be wrong about the installation of "corner buster" at Carey Island BH.
I wanted to improve the shape of those nests at the old BH at Carey Island.
About 45 days ago I arranged the installation of plastic chains at about 40 locations.
The job consisted of identifying the right locations and remove the nests.
Once removed the plastic chains were installed to make those birds moved to its sides.
Unfortunately after 45 days the number of birds returning to the same spot was less than 15%.
The caretaker and the BH owner wanted my full explanations why what was predicted is not happening?
I cannot find a suitable answer unless I came over to take a look at the installations.
Today inspected the affect BH and after analysing the chains installations I think there are a few issues that can be the possible reasons:
1) Out of the 40 pieces installed only about 5-10 that shows some sign of new nests being erected. The rest seems to be abandoned by the birds.
2) One have to understand that the corner buster idea was mainly used on 90* corners that are not covered with wood covers.
3) As for BH already installed with corner covers usually made of wood the nest will be located something like this skech:
4) With the installation of plastic chains the nest should move to either the left or right sides of the chain like this sketch:
5) However in this Carey Island BH the birds seems to be a bit annoyed with the chain and they refused to return to the same location.
6) There might be many reasons why but I am of the opinion 45 days might not be long enough. They might have returned to the same location but took a much longer time to decide to move to the side of move to another location.
7) There is also a very strong possibility that they still wanted to try to find ways to out smart the chain. There were two or three spots where they go underneath the chain and erect their new nests.
My recommendations are as follows:
a) We need to give them more time and see the progress.
b) During today's visit I asked the worker who came along to spray super pheromone on both side of all the chains. I assumed that the super pheromone will stimulate them to quickly start building their nests at either the left of the right sides.
c) There is something not right with the situation. My thinking was that if all those tests conducted on corners without any corner covers are giving a 95% success rate then why don't we remove all those corner covers?
d) Another method which was not tested is to perhaps install a fake nest one on the left and one of the right so that we assist the couple to move.
The above ideas might need to be evaluated deeper.
We have no answer right now.
The more we carry out the necessary test the better will our chance to find the right solution.
Posted by Pak Harry The Swiftlet Anthusiast !!! at 12:00:00 PM
Friday, October 14, 2016
The owner literally surrender and wanted my help to reactivate it.
I entered the BH to evaluate what was wrong with it and realized a few things that many BH owners are not aware about.
Yesterday after a JV was agreed upon I entered for the second time to evaluate the scope of works to be carried out inside this BH.
No1 is to clear the surroundings. The caretaker allows lots of these bushes and trees to grow almost 7 feet around the building. I cannot find the entrance gate into the fenced areas.
No 2 have something to do with the owls attacks. The caretaker claimed that there was a new couple that are staying inside the BH. When I was inside I saw one that flew out and left about 4 eggs.
No 3 the entrance hole areas. The current hole is elongated about 4 feet long and 2.5 feet high. The lips were rough finished with very little attention given on the tweeter's arrangements.
No 4 is about the hexagonal tweeters. I always promote the installation of hexagonal tweeter. There was none installed at this BH.
No 5 is above long distance tweeters (bazooka). I think if you install a set of medium range tweeters it will generate more visitors to this BH.
No 6 have something to do with the cantilever cement walkways inside the first room. This cantilever walkway served very little purpose except is allows those owl to rest on it the moment they entered the main entrance hole. I need to remove them.
No 7 have to do with the floor lay out. The LAL on the top most floor was at the opposite end of the main entrance hole. If those birds wanted to fly downstairs they have to take a very long flight. It should be somewhere closed to the main entrance hole. In view of this situation I need to whack the floor open.
No 8 is the floor darkness. The consultant who gave the floor layout recommendations must be blind. His mind must be congested and little knowledge about swiftlet. I heard he was a Professor but I believe swiftlet is not his major. The top floor was way too bright with no VIP room and with only one room erected just after the main entrance hole. The amount of light polluting the nesting areas was way to high.
No 9 is about those nesting planks. Nearly all are dusty and covered with either dust of fungus spores. They need to be properly cleaned and applied with anti fungus chemical.
No 10 is the installation of 90* wood covers. I am of a strong opinion that every new young couple that enter a new BH will look forward to erect their nest at thow 90* corners. Why are we covering them? I need to open them especially those that are facing the flying in path.
No 11 still on the nesting planks. The layout of the nesting planks need addition row of cross woods. These cross woods will add more nesting space and at the same time introduce new 90* corners.
No 12 is about internal sound tweeters. In the first place the type and shape is wrong. The second wrong doing is the location where there were installed. Should not be in the middle of now where but closed to those 90* corners. I need to re move all and install a new set of tweeters. This time I plan to use AG 35 tweeters. All tweeters inside the VIP rooms will be of AG 35 model.
No 13 is about external sound tweeters. There were a few of them inside the nesting rooms beside the entrance hole but I think they were not well installed. The precision of where to place them is important. I need to remove and arrange precisely where they should be located.
No 14 is the quality of amplifiers. The owner seems to spend very little money on this important gadget. Using a RM 150 amplifier type is not a good solution. My best experience is to opt for two units of Teknik BZ 106 with 6 channels with volume controllers.
No 15 is about the BH wetness. The was a set of mist jet pump. The owner claimed that it was send for repair. The pump will help to wet the BH. Right now after the pump failure it is very dry.
No 16 is about the fake nests. I can safely predict that the swiftlet species found around this BH love fake nests. Out of 20 nests found inside nearly 18 were using those plastic made fake nests. This is where their weakness is. My plan is to give them as many as I can.
No 17 the smell inside the BH. I think the smell is plain and no bird shit smell. A couple of 10 liters will do a big job to neutralize the stranded BH. Plan to ferment as many liters as possible.
No 18 is the selection of proper sounds. Current sounds are obsolete and need a new set. Maybe can use a few especially my new sounds in my collection.
Hope to start revamping this BH soon.
However my first task is to get a JCB tractor to clear the surroundings.
Posted by Pak Harry The Swiftlet Anthusiast !!! at 6:10:00 PM
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
This BH at Taman Anggerik in Kuala Kangsar came with white colored ventilation holes pipes.
The building contractor was not aware of how sensitive those swiftlet are to bright light.
Every floor the number of ventilation holes was about 45 holes.
If you visit the BH prior to the revamp operation you will see that each pipe will act at a lamp on the wall once you switched off all the light.
The owner was not aware of how serious those light from these air ventilation holes.
When your nesting rooms are too bright you will usually face the following problems:
1) New couples that entered into your BH will stay for a few days and soon they will check out'
2) Those that came in and stay will continue to stay and refuse to erect their nests. They become like a pest like a tenant who rented your house and refuse to pay their monthly rental fee.
3) Those bright light will led to a syndrome called lots of birds but little nests. There are many facing this syndrome and I have recommended to block those bright lights.
The day when I sat down with my workers they came out with something I should say genius.
I was expecting the standard method like applying black paint on the pipe or tape it up with black masking tape but he came out with a more practical method.
He showed me that the white pipe can hold the gray colored 4" diameter sized pipe.
In fact it can hold very nicely and all he need to do is to cut a piece of it about 6" long and plugged it in.
Once that is done we can use the usual 90* elbows fitted with extension pipe about 1-2.5 feet long.
This was proven to be simpler and faster to eliminate those light.
Please enjoy these pictures taken.
BH Inspection Services !!!
If you happened to own a BH and for some reasons the nests population are not growing or zero after months into operation, there must be something not right.
This is where you can use my expertise.
Give your BH a "medical" check up and get Harry to carry the inspection.
For every inspection you will be provided with a full diagnosis on your BH "health" status and how to get it back to normal.
Call 017 7551318 now !!!