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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Meeting of JPBD and Swiftlet Ranchers Associations !!!

Last night received two calls from two different ladies asking for the contact numbers of all the Birdhouses Owners Associations in the Country.

Well the calls came from Jabatan Peranchang Bandar dan Desa (JPBD), Kuala Lumpur.

Since I never have the list I told them to cantact the President of all the Presidents Dato Paduka Beh of Sungai Patani, Kedah.

I am sure they are going to invite all these owners to a meeting to discuss about the guidelines.

All in all they listen to my opinion that once they are the draft finalised, it is good to discuss with the associations.

They are taking the right steps and I hope their meeting will be a successful one.

I am looking forward to know the date and it will be very nice if I will be invited to attend the meeting too.......

The Person Who Became The President Of America !!!

This special picture was sent to me by a very good friend.
The picture shows a man in red shirt visiting his grandmother in Africa some 21 years ago.
Now he is the President of America and he is the most powerful person on earth right now.
Nothing is Impossible !!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Internal Sounds Types !!!

"Harry, are there any differences in playing the internal sounds ? Can you advise which sound to be played and how to detect their effectiveness?"

Two questions posted by one of my blog readers recently.

He has some valid points and I know not many BH owners can even differentiate between colony and mating sound. Most of them thought that there is only one sound for the internal.

I came to know about internal sounds about two years ago. While playing a stack of sounds given to me by a good friend from Ipoh, I found that there are more then one sound that can be played as internal sounds.

a) The Baby Sound.

The baby sound is more like babies crying for their mother or daddy for comfort or food. You can easily differentiate the sound very easily. In a populated house the baby sounds have special effect to those new birds who enter you BH to start their selection to stay as a tenant. The baby sound will make these new comers feel at ease and thus will make a positive decision to stay.
It is strongly recommended by many to ensure that baby sounds is a must in all the internal sound make up.

b) The Mating Sound.

The mating sound have a special effect on those young birds. Once they flew out of their nest they will need at least 6 to 8 months to get their body ready for production. This period they will normally follow their parent to learn on how to find food and perhaps learn to find safety in the event of any danger.
Once their urge to produce started, they need to find a life partner. This is when those mating sounds plays their part. The sound will actually accelerate their urge to mate thus they will quickly find a suitable partner.
They normally will feel the heat during dry season. This is when you should play the mating sound then. Mix the mating sound with baby sound to be more effective.

c) The Colony Sound.

Colony sound is something that usually happened when lots of birds are making noises while they started to built their nests. This is more like a flock of birds in a room making noises while each of them are building their nest to start the eggs production.
This happen during the early part of the rainy season. Many of these wild birds will start to built new nests while others will repair their old nests.
The noise is typical and you can easily differentiate between mating sound.

d) The Pack Leader sound.

This is something that I have come across during my listening to my own BH noises.
Among all the sounds made during the arrival from the day's hunting there is a leader in the crowd that seem to give a kind of sound that will be able to command respect to the rest of the birds. He, I think, is the colony leader.
His sound will be heard as a specific time of the evening and when he make his sound, the rest will stay shut up for a period of time. It is more like saying "Shut up please". Event those small babies will shut up too.
This sound is something new and I have yet to find ready made one that fit this description.

By reading the above you can now figure out how to strategies your internal sound selection methods.

Remember play the right sound during the right period of the breeding cycle.

You need to make close observations when they will start to mate and when they will built their nest and then when those babies will hatch out of those two eggs laid.

The best method to know if the sound is effective is to observe the birds reaction once the external sound stop playing in the evening. If the moment the sound stop, the birds started to rush out of your BH, that mean the internal sound suck. Change them immediately.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pictures OF Serinti Birds Taken When I Was In Brunei Darulsalam !!!

A newbie from Tenom, Sabah wanted me to republish the pictures of Serinti birds that have very similar characteristics of AF. The only thing is that they build their nests using grass twigs plus their saliva.
If you want to see them much clearer double click on all the pictures posted on this page.
You can keep these pictures for your reference and please use them for your information purposes.
The Serinti, if you are a positive thinker, can help you to increase the number of AF in your area. The idea is to use them as the foster parents of AF babies.
You can either replace their eggs with AF eggs or with AF babies that you incubate using an incubator.
Once the young AF take their flight they will never behave the same as those Serinti. So if you can cross foster say 500 birds a seasons, you can easily have at least 10 to 20% into your BH (subject to your BH design and smell).
Remember Serinti have no echolocation ability while AF do have. As such Serinti will not be able to fly in the dark house. So they will not colonise your BH, may be the outside roof. So if you are smart you built some areas for those Serinti to occupy the external part of your BH (for you to carry out cross fostering) while the internal is for those saliva nests producers (your white gold).
For more details you may want to read these articles that I wrote sometime ago.
If you need any AF eggs please let me know. I need at least one months to find them.
I might be able to arrange for your cross fostering activities. Call me for help at 017 7551318

All the above pictures were taken at a Car Park in an apartment in Brunei.

The Swine Flu In Mexico and Now In The US....

This is a very serious matter, the class 4, swine flu or pig flu H1N1 Flu.
The flu started in Mexico and now spreading to the US, Israel, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, South Korea and Austria.

It will be spreading and there is no antidote yet, according to reports from the US. They need at least 6 months to come out with something.

This statement is something that we need to be aware and perhaps digest:

The new strain is an apparent assortment of several strains of influenza A virus subtype H1N1, which analysis at the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified as a strain endemic in humans, a strain endemic in birds, and two strains endemic in American and Eurasian pigs (swine).[36]

This was how it started:

The earliest confirmed case of the illness was in the town of La Gloria, Veracruz, Mexico, where a boy fell ill on April 2.[46][47] Beginning in early March, a flu that progressed in many cases to respiratory illness affected 60% of La Gloria's residents;[46][48] however, no further cases of swine flu have been confirmed in the town.[46] La Gloria is located near a pig farming operation that raises nearly one million pigs per year, and town residents have long been bothered by flies that multiply in the pig farm's manure lagoons.[46]

The Mexican Social Security Institute stated in early April that these flies may have been the original disease vector of the virus.[49] The owner of the pig farm, Smithfield Foods, has stated that it had found no clinical signs or symptoms of the presence of swine influenza in the company's swine herd, nor in its employees at its joint ventures in Mexico, and that it routinely administers influenza virus vaccination to their swine herds and conducts monthly testing for the presence of swine influenza.[50]

The outbreak was first detected in Mexico City, where surveillance began picking up a surge in cases of Influenza like illness (ILI) starting March 18.[51] The surge was assumed by Mexican authorities to be "late-season flu" (which usually coincides with a mild Influenzavirus B peak)[52] until April 21,[53][54] when a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention alert concerning two isolated cases of a novel swine flu was reported in the media.[55] The first two cases identified (and confirmed) as swine flu were two children living in the United States, in San Diego County and Imperial County, California, who became ill on March 28 and 30.[56] This new strain was promptly confirmed in Mexico, connecting the new strain to the ongoing outbreak of ILI. The first death from swine flu occurred on April 13, when a diabetic woman from Oaxaca died from respiratory complications.[57][58] Some samples were sent to the U.S.-based CDC on April 18.[59]

In March and April 2009, over 1000 cases of suspected swine flu in humans were detected in Mexico and the southwestern United States. The strain appears to be unusually lethal in Mexico, causing 152 deaths (26 confirmed)[60] so far, mostly in Mexico City.[61] There have also been cases reported in the states of San Luis Potosí, Hidalgo, Querétaro and Mexico State, all in central Mexico;[62] Some cases in Mexico and the United States have been confirmed by the World Health Organization to be a never-before-seen strain of H1N1.[51][63]

The Mexican fatalities are mainly young adults of 25 to 45, a common trait of pandemic flu.[36][64] A new swine flu strain was confirmed in 16 of the deaths and at least 100 others were being tested as of April 24, 2009.[65] Mexican Health Minister José Ángel Córdova on April 24, said "We’re dealing with a new flu virus that constitutes a respiratory epidemic that so far is controllable."[62]

For now you need to be very careful with your travelling plans and wash your hand regularly to avoid contamination. Start wearing those masks if you are using public vehicles like buses and trains.

Stay at home and stock those drinks and food and avoid going to public places until the flu die down.

Thank You To Pak Hendry Mulia and Tirok !!!

Just wanted to say thank you for your kind message on the 200,00 hits on my blog to Pak Hendry Mulia and Tirok.

Both of you have been very special and I always wanted to say that you have inspired me to continue writing.

To Pak Hendry, saya selalu teringat masa pertama bertemu di pulau kapas, trengganu.

I drove more then 600 kilometers just to meet you in person. I am very glad until today to have met you inperson.

Then I travelled a few thousand kilometers to Pontianak just to attend your next seminar on swiftlet farming.

Pak, I appreciate your works and hope you will continue with the effort to improve the industry plus keep writing new books about swiftlet farming.

Pak Tirok, been also special to me. During the Pulau Kapas seminar, meet him and after the seminar visited his birdhouse in a small town call Tirok.

Very facinating ways of building his birdhouse in a jungle close to a river. I remember there was a graveyard infront of the BH. I hope by now there are lots of birds in his house.

Thank you to both of you for allowing me to be your friend.

Have CCTV Cameras To Monitor Your New BH !!!

Having four cameras in your BH can be very exciting. You can easily monitor how those wild birds behave and understand what is stopping them from entering.

However there are some set backs which you will not notice until someone point it out to you.

I was in Subang 2 completing the conversion of a new BH. My partner installed this IR cameras at various strategic locations to catch those birds taking their first flight into the new house.

Immediately after the house was ready and put into operation mode, we can actually observe how those birds take their time to fly into the open roof openings and check into the entrance hole.

They will do that for at least four to seven days. During this time they will check the new house, especially around the roof openings, the pool and of course the entrance hole.

They will fly in and out as if they are scared of something in the house.

This is very common since the house is new and the cement smell are still thick in the air.

Maybe they are trying out the flight direction on how to enter the house safely.

We can know exactly what time they enter since the whole system provide a kind of motion detection. The storage space provided is huge. It can store a total of one month activities.

If you wanted to retrieve any slots that you miss you can just locate the frame.

It can also search those frames that were having activities in a specific camera areas.

I am impressed and do observe the early behaviours of those young birds. They come at different time of the day and lock onto the hexagonal tweeters. They will circle the tweeter for many rounds.

Once the are attracted to the open roof sound they will so the same. They will fly and try to hold on to those tweeters.

After doing that some will fly into the entrance hole. The only weird thing was that they will fly out after a few seconds flying at the entrance area.

This is where it effect the concentration of my partner. The moment those birds do not enter the house and move to the back, my partner will start his comments on why those birds refuse to move in to the back.

This is where trouble begins. He will not sit still until the openings are opened wide to ensure that those birds do not stay around the door but get in.

This can be good however if he keep bagging those walls the house will never be peaceful with human interventions.

After a few alignments, I told him to stop going into the house. His body smells might cause those birds a bit scared to enter, I told him.

Today he did some last minutes changes and promised not to enter and disturb the environment for the next two weeks.

Hmm ..... at least he listen to my advise.......

Overall the use of these cameras do provide you with some observations when those birds started to penetrate into the house, their flight behaviours and what are causing them not entering the house.

I recommend the use of these CCTV cameras for early detection of possible flight path errors.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Nearly Conned By A Frankter On The Phone !!!

"Mr Harry, I am from Citibank credit card division. I understand that you are no longer using your card for any transaction but only to pay your AIA insurance."

I received this call yesterday and he was so convincing. He seem to know every transaction that I did with my credit card for the last three months.

After smooth talking to me he then asked for the three numbers at the back of my card.

I told him sorry I do not carry my card at the same time let me drop by the bank to process whatever is necessary.

"Okay in that case I will call you back tomorrow once you have completed the arrangement."

He was still cool until the last moment.

He sound Chinese and the call originated from 03.

This morning saw this message from one of my credit card:

Beware of Fraudulent SMS and Telephone call Requesting for your Banking and Credit card Information.

We would like to alert all Card members to be vigilant when receiving any SMS or Telephone calls claiming to originate from Bank Negara or any other financial institutions. Based on recent complains received by Bank Negara there have been an increase in incident of fraudsters sending SMS and making calls to unknowing member of the public asking for details of bank or credit cards information with the aim of siphoning monies from one's account.

To all my blog readers please be aware of the scam and make sure you do not entertain these culprits. Tell them that you will contact the bank directly and not through the phone.

I was nearly cheated and I hope all my friends will not be an easy prey to these fraudsters.
Frankly I no longer use my credit cards any longer. What I have decided is to cut all of them and switched to what I call debit card.
I open a saving account with AlRahji bank and deposit about 1,500 ringgit. They issued a visa card and I used my own money during any transaction.
This is the best way to control my spending and at the same time avoid to hefty interest charged by those financial institutions. They cut your throat.
If you wish to know more please write to me for more detail explanations.

Passed the 200,000 hit Marks !!!

Today my blog hits passed the 200,000 hit marks.

Congratulation to everybody who read my blog. To me this is a special milestone.

I never though that I can achieved such a remarkable number of hits.

I started writing just as a hobby amd never hope that it will go this far.

I know I have help many newbies in swiftlet farming but I also make many "sifus" unhappy.

Maybe I exposed too much about swiftlet farming and many "consultants" feel threaten with my works.

To be very frank, the things that I wrote are basic and most of the articles are more like logical thinking.

Most of us tend to depend so much to those so called "sifus" and refuse to use your mind.

I don't blame those sifus so much but everybody should know that it was they who make those sifus wanted. You tend to think that those sifus have lots of miracles that can bring all those birds into your BH.

What I believed those sifus does was to try out what they think are right using you as the person who fund their R&D. If the BH is successful then they got what they want and you got yours. The moment there are something not right then you become the idiot who fund their research.

Nobody can be right from the first day and he need to test for at least a number of BHs before the right combination is found.

Very interesting evaluation and comment.

Worst is to work with a sifu who have very little education and do not believed in scientific methods of running a BH.

Good example is someone who do not believed that you can use humidifier or water spray to cool or control the BH humidity.

Also be careful with those sifu who do not believed in the use of Aroma.

No matter how good he is looked at his way of answering your questions. If he keep giving you with stupid answers then you know that he is not fit to be your sifu.

Go and find someone who can be more like an advisor who can explain in details on any matters on issues that are related to your BH.

The more he explain the more you learn from him .......

Sunday, April 26, 2009

What Happen To Your Swiftlets When The Temperature Went Wild ???

The most talked about topic now days is the hot sun. The temperature is going bananas.

Yesterday my wife told me that there was a report in one of our local dailies saying that the temperature hit 40*C.

Someone who just came back from India told me that in Mumbai the temperature was hitting way passed 45*C.

Well let us focus on our swiftlets. What will happened if the temperate hit 45*C in your BH areas?

First, I think, you should pay some attention on your BH internal temperature. What do you think your BH temperature, internal, would be?

Don't just says that it is okay, my "Consultant" is responsible for it and not me.

Take you time to do some checking. Just buy a few of those thermo hygrometers and install on the top floor and the other floors.

Check their high and low readings for a few days and record them in your data book.

Make sure you reset the readings immediately after you have recorded the readings.

If the temperature hits above 31*C you know that those birds will not like it.

Then what will be your best options? I suggest you get hold of those laser temperature senser gadget and pinpoint which part of the walls or your roof are heating up the air in the nesting areas.

List all that you can think off and try something to discuss with someone who can provide you with the most cost effective solutions.

What happen to your swiftlets? Will they be hiding in the forest or perhaps climb those high mountains.

Frankly they know where and how to keep themselves cool. They might be bathing somewhere in those water ponds or rivers or perhaps fly high up in the clouds. The clouds are cool and misty.

The issue here is how can you make your BH the preferred house.

My suggestion is for you to look into the putting some kind of water sprays or water flowing pipe somewhere near your entrance hole. If you use the open roof type you do have a pool to catch those rain waters.

What you should consider is to place these spray nozzles around the perimeter of the roof openings and slant them towards the middle. Use a timer to set the water pumps into operation mode.

You might also consider to place a water pipe at one side of the entrance area and allow water to flow into the pool. These flowing water do attract those thirsty birds over.

I have seen the water pipe working in Alor Star and I can still remember how those swiftlets love to maneuver themselves for a sip (like hummingbirds sucking those honey from flowers) and fly into the dripping water. They wet themselves by flying straight into the water from the pipe.

Before doing any wild things just think carefully on the above suggestions. They might work for some but not to those who are not adventurous.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Babysitting OF Birdhouses Can Be Challenging !!!

What if your BH is not doing well and nothing seem to works ??

Just do it yourself or get someone to babysit for you until the house is revamped and those birds are moving back into it.

The best is to ensure that the target on the number of birds entering every evening is within a healthy zone.

You can achieve this by knowing what is wrong with the house and what should be done to overcome the problems.

I can guarantee you that if the bird numbers are not multiplying or there is not a single nest after more then 3-6 months in operations, your BH is actually sick.

There must be something wrong with the entrance hole, or the humidity, or the temperature, or the brightness and many more.

You might not have the ability to pin point what is causing the low population but there are many who owned BHs or visited many BHs can just tell you that there is something not right and perhaps he can advise you the corrective measures.

Once you have identified and corrected, you need to babysit the BH for at least six months.

You can do this yourself or get someone to do it for you.......

If You Can Finished Reading My Blog From The Beginning, I Think You Are Crazy !!!

I received this message from a newbie from Tenom, Sabah.

He called me a couple of time talking about swiftlet farming and how to recognise those AF.

I told him to get the test gadget and he did just that.

After about two weeks, this was his email to me:


I hv read nearly your entire blog. You sound so modest given the fact that you hv save so many BH owners.

Its no joke man!

Ya, I assume you must be receiving tons of mail. You r great.

Hope I can see u in person thats when I get hold of your bird call gaget to test on the present of AF in Tenom.

I think u are the only preson who can give advice to prospective BH owners. The rest of the so call "consultant" are so secretive and I doubt they ever own a BH.

Anyway I hope we can meet up and I will give u a nice treat in Sabah for fresh seafood. Hahaha. Keep healthy and be happy.

Regards to your wife and family.

Very fascinating and I never believed that any newbie will do what he did.

He finished reading all what I wrote in less then one week.

He seem to know everything about me !!!

Anyway I am very happy that he wrote this special phrase: " You R Great"

I did not said myself but some one appreciate my contribution.

At least there are still those who appreciate my blog writing.

I am hopeful by tonight the hit will pass the 200,000 marks.

Thank you to every body out there who read my humble blog.....

Friday, April 24, 2009

Most Common Delima In Running A BH !!!

Some BH owners are successful in running their BHs but many do not.

The most common problems are either no birds in the house after many months and some have the number stagnant after accumulating a few nests.

This special email I received is one of them:

hi, Harry,

I am Mr T from Kuantan, Pahang.I have a bh located 8km away from town.

My bh is two storey shoplot with two shop 40''x70''. Under flying path.One open roof entrance in front of the shop.

The front of the shop is facing the sunlight when evening..The age of the bh is about 1year and 7months.

At the same row of the shop have 8 shop renovate to bh with 5 swiftlet farmer (including me). The external sound is using Black Cloud (since 25Jan2009)..

But, i facing some problems... the nests stop growing . Before i went to National Service(28dec2008) i had count the nest(107nest) until today the number remain the same.

I feel that the young birds dislike to stay in my bh..after they know how to fly,they even dont fly back and build nest.

Harry, how to attract more birds to stay in my bh? Apply aroma?? what kind of aroma tat i need to use?

What do you think is not right in this case?

My best answer is to call a BH Doctor to visit the house and do some health check. There are 1001 reasons but the best way is still to get someone who might be able to pin point the most probable reasons why the nests are not growing.

Using black cloud will not work if the house is not conducive, hot, dry and bright.

There might be so many predators in the house especially cockroaches.

The house might have problems with those wood fungus. The flying path might need some changes.

The sound system must have deteriorated. Some of those tweeters are giving cracking sounds which might scares away those new birds. The amplifiers are no more working in order.

The floor might be too dry.

The house might need to be treated with fresh aroma for the next 6 months.

Those gadget on the floor might be having mechanical problems with lots of noise scaring away the young birds.

Your neighbors might come out with some special gadgets to lure all those young birds away from your BH??

There are many more reasons.

My best advise is to get someone to visit the BH and list down what can be the probable reasons.

You need to find the right answers and follow up with solutions.

If you really cannot find the right person to help you in pin pointing the possible reasons then call 017 755 1318. I might be able to drive down to do the inspection.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

How To Bring More Birds To A Specific Location In Your BH !!!

If you never try you never know the results !!!

This is something that you need to be honest to yourself. If you want to see some changes in your nests population you need to be innovative.

I was laying on my bed when this stupid idea came to my mind.

Is it possible to bring the birds to s specific plank in your BH by using those fake nests.

My idea is to put as many fake nests on a piece of plank but arranged in a manner where when those babies starts to grow their shits will not hit their neighbors downstairs.

If this idea works, then you can see that there will be more birds in one place. The benefits you get from this idea are as follows:

a) There will be more nests in any one location. This will make those swiftlets feel safe, peaceful and assured.

b) You can maximise the utilization of your nesting planks. If this nests arrangement is being propagated in your BH you actually double the number of nest per square foot ceiling areas. For example if you use the 30cm by 100 cm box you can get around 9 nests, with this you might get 18 nests. Hmm..... wonderful number.

c) Your effort in populating your BH will be more systematic. They come and populate those fake nests and once the nest being used two times you remove the fake nest and let them use those markings.

d) You can also move the tainted nests to other locations to encourage the colonisation of another piece of the wooden planks.

There is nothing to loose in trying this idea out. If it works you will hit a jack pot.

Trust me.

The cost to carry out this idea is minimum but the result might be generous.

Just look at these pictures that shows how the nest arrangements looks likes in a heavily populated BH. The nests are below the others.

As long as the lower nests are away from those shits propel out of the nest by those young birds they are okay.

If you should try and it works please let me know. Let us share with the rest.

If you are not sure of what and how to do call me at 017 755 1318

What If After Revamp Works I Got 120 Nests Within 7 Months !!!

A blog reader from Pekan, Pahang called and asked this question:

"Pak Harry my birdhouse was not doing very well in the first 12 months of operation with only 20 nests. Then I decided to revamp the house about 7 months ago. Now my BH have a total of 140 nests. Is my house doing well?"

Based on the little things that he spoke to me, I told him to be grateful with the outcome. The first 12 months was bad especially when the house was in Pekan. I know Pekan is one of my favourite hot spots.

However the interesting accumulation of 120 nests within 7 months was where he should looked into.

I told him: Ask yourself what were the changes that took place after the revamp works? Is it the Temperature, the Humidity, the brightness, the flying path or the sound system? There must be something that suddenly pull that many birds within 7 months !!!

Take a piece of paper and pinpoint those changes and try your best to maintain the micro habitats that happened immediately after the revamping works, I said.

Just imagine if the nest number keep increasing with 120 every 7 months, he will take less then 1 year more to achieve the 300 nests required for a stable BH.

Note: To me once you have 300 nests, you can change your method of getting birds into your BH. You have adequate internally generated young birds that can easily populate your BH.

The lesson from this article is that if you did something to that effect that the nest population suddenly surged to more then 120 new nests within that short months of 7, there must be something good that you did. Identify those changes and maintain it for as long as you can.

In this way you will be able to populate your BH faster then your neighbors.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Today Was With A Group Of Friends Who Are Adventerous !!!

Marble slab used as nesting planks

After that long journey from Ayer Tawar, Perak went for my monthly hair cut in Bangsar.

Then proceeded to Mah Sing Industrial park to meet my two good friends who are crazy about swiftlet farming.

They have started the renovation works on a shop house and wanted me to give my advises on the selection of the best sound system, the internal humidity control system, the temperature system and so forth.

One of the most interesting features that they install was those marble slabs that was taken from a factory belonging to one of the partner.

Hmm .... looks very nice and well installed.

What they did was to convert one section of the BH using marble slab as the nesting planks. The area selected was about 50 square feet at one corner of the house.

I was impressed with the mounting.
The rock slab on the wall.

Beside the nesting marble slabs they also placed some rock slab on the side of the wall. There were about 5 of these slabs with rough surfaces. The owner said that he wanted to test the reaction of the wild birds. Who knows they might want to use them.

Took some pictures and please enjoy the view.

Normal Nesting planks with tweeters and fake nests.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Reactivated A Failed BH In Ayer Tawar, Perak

After 8 days the sick BH in Ayer Tawar, Perak was put into its operational mode.

Eight days ago, I was asked to stop by and recommend all the needful. The owner seem to be very enthusiastic about what was recommended and he waited not more then 2 hours to mobilise his contractor to revamp the BH.

After eight days, I was asked to be in Ayer Tawar to put the house in its operational mode.

I could not believed what he have done. Everything that were asked were carried out.

I told him: "Now the BH is more like a BH. Before this it was actually a chicken den."

He fully agreed with me. He, his father and in laws feel so proud to see the transformations.

Those planks infested with fungus were removed, the humidifiers were put in operation mode, those petitioning walls were constructed and the nesting room was darker then before.

The entrance hole size was nearly twice the initial size. I told him to shut the second entrance hole.

More tweeters were added and they looks neater and placed on the right location.

If you enter the house you will see those fake nests that I recommended.

I applied those wonderful smell aromas and rip opened a bag of ammonia bicarbonate powder.

The hygrostat was in place and the sensor was operational.

I also amended the sound amplifier's operation method.

Got the right sound in place.

By 6.00pm the house was in full swing and we closed the day with a nice seafood dinner together with his in laws.

I told him that I will monitor the house for at least 6 months.

He will be going back to London this Thursday.

Told him not to worry. Give me at least 3 months to show some birdshits on the floor.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Those Styrofoam Fake Nests Do Attract The Young Swiftlet !!!

"Harry, I followed your advises on the use of fake nests made of Styrofoam. It works !!! However my "Sifu" seem to say that this is an old fashion ways of attracting those young birds."

Well if it works why should you be bothered with the comment made by your "Sifu"?

One of the ways to pull those young birds into your new BH is to have as many "goodies" or "chocolate" to attract new birds colonising the nesting areas. Fake nest introduction is one of them.

If they like fake nests just put as many as you can (not to much). If they like those tweeters, do the same and if they like the aroma do the same. If they like to build their nests at corners, give them. If they like those rusty iron plates, you install some.
Never stop them until the nest population in your BH reaches a minimum of 300 nests. When this number is met, you need to modify your strategies. You now need to push them to built their nests on the planks. You need 180* shape full cup nests. No more those 90* nests, those rusty nests, those with white styrofoam layer on the harvested nest and so on.
Yes you might want to remove them in stages. Place those corner covers in full or at least on those corners with nest (harvest those nests first).

"But Harry is it true that if you use aroma the nest will be contaminated? My Sifu believed in Organic. As such he do not believed in aromas, no ammonia powder, no introduction of foreign materials and so forth."

So far after 12 months do you think his advise make sense?

"Nope, that was why I called you for your scientific advises. I think I need to use more common sense and more scientific methods then his old fashion ways of populating my BHs."

Well the choice is yours. You owned those BHs and not him. You have forked out more then 500,000 rm and after 12 months his methods are not giving good results. My advise is to move on and try something new, more scientific, which you think will helps you to populate your BHs.

Don't look back and blame your Sifu. You should thank him for introducing this special business to you in the first place. Without him you might not be here with me.
Remember I am not the only person who can give you some advises but there are many more out there. The most important is to choose one and try his methods for at least 6 months.
Make sure you record the outcome of his new methods and keep the statistic of how many new nests or shits spots on the floor are progressing.
If he can change and improve those signs, keep him but if he fails drop him. Be fair to him and let him do what he can for a period of not less then 6 months.

More BHs To Look After !!!

It is either the owners are lucky or I am lucky.
Yes, there are more new and sick BHs to look after.

I have been asked to help in turning around a few "Sick BHs" and at the same time there are a few new comers who seem to be innovative in getting idle shop houses into BHs.

On Sunday April 19th, I was in Melaka to provide guidelines on how to install those nesting planks, sound systems, humidifiers placement, the CCTV cameras and so forth. This BH was a stand alone built on a piece of land at the back of the owner's home.

Then the BH in Muar with a total nests population of 370. The owner found that the rate of nest growth seem to be stuck and he wanted to unloose the movement.

"Harry can you advise on what is wrong with my BHs? I bought the BH about one year ago and at that time the number of nests was 300. Now after 12 months only 70 new nests. This is less then what I expected."

Today have to be in Subang and Ayer Tawar.

The Ayer Tawar BH, after my last visit, is ready to be relaunched. After 12 months of zero nests the owner invited me to take a good look and list what when went wrong. That was about 7 days ago.

Today the owner wanted me to have a good look on all the revamp works being carried out as per my recommendations. If possible he wanted to reactivate the house using my "Black Cloud" bird call sound.

In Subang, those innovative newbies managed to get a shop house owner to set a JV with them. They got the green light and did the conversion as per my sketch.

This morning they wanted me to be at site to bring all those items that are needed to complete the house.

Very exciting with some new technologies that they incorporate in the BH. It seem that one of the newbie operate a marble polishing company in Sungai Buloh and one of the room is using marble as the nesting planks.

"Harry, just have a look at what my partner have done in one of the room. This guy is crazy with marble blocks." A comment from one of the partner.
Then come with something which I was not expecting.

"Hey Harry, remember the other day when we were in Bentong and we stop by at one of those shop houses. I make a few calls to the vacant shop houses. All the two whom I spoke to have agreed to convert their empty shop houses into BH. "

Wow, this guy is good is convincing those owners and if he continues doing this he will own more BHs in no time.

The best was that I am their technical advisor.

Interesting: Old Buildings In Muar Johore With Spiral Staircases !!!

While in Muar Johore, I took some time to walk around town to snap some pictures of all the BHs that I came across.

Among all the BHs this unit is exceptional.

Have a look at how this owner uses the back spiral staircase as the BH entry point.

What he did was to place a rooftop cover, using zinc cover, and the opening between the two spiral staircases became the entry point.

There were lots of birds entering the house and I am sure all the rooms on the top were converted into BH nesting rooms.

There were many other BHs all over town.

The river crossing the town was the main reason why the bird's population were heavy.

Visit To Pontian Birdhouses !!!

Today visited two BHs in Pontian Johore.

The owner is from JB and have been having difficulties in populating his BHs.

The first unit was in Pontian New Town while the other was on an Agricultural land above 3 kilometers away.

Both units were constructed by the same "Consultant" from Johore Bahru.

Biggest problem faced by the owner was that the "Consultant" was an old fashioned believer prefer to operate all his birdhouses based on "Organic" ways.

No Aromas, no bird shits in the house, no ammonia powders and uses old methods of operating all his birdhouses.

No matter how many months the house was empty he will asked the owner to wait and wait and wait. The birds will come, according to him.

He seem to be against the use of any scientific tools to measure the BH humidity and temperature.

I feel very strange that there are still these old fashion designers who seem to think that those old methods, which he learned from the neighbouring countries, can still be used during this competitive age.

The owner seem to feel the heat. No birds for more then 12 months and the "Consultant" still ask him to wait. What a fool he became.

The moment I stepped into the BH, I listed those same observations that happened at the Raub, Pahang BH. The same issues. The BH was too hot, too bright, too dry and the house was with no aroma that can pull those wild birds in.

The sound system, especially those external sound tweeters, seem to be not properly located and the internal sound tweeters not adequate.

After covering about 25 points I was taken to the second BH, a standalone.

More or less similar to the first. Why not when the same Consultant was engaged for the construction.

After another round of "Things to To" with the owner, I rushed back to Kuala Lumpur.

Tomorrow need to be in Subang (owner converting a shop house) and Ayer Tawar( a BH being revamped after 12 months with not a single nest and to start the sound) . Both BHs need my help to convert and revamp.

Hope both units will have their first tenant in less then one month.

Raub Birdhouse Revamp Progress !!!

Nest Marking On The Plank
Last Friday went to Raub, Pahang for general inspection and treatment works on a birdhouse which was initially with zero nests and zero birdshits for 11 months.

After about 3-4 months of revamp and looking after the result is exciting but could have been better.

The number of birdshit spots was above 20 and there were 5 nests and 4 new markings.

I am not very happy on the progress but the owner seem to be smilling.
May be I put my expectation to high.

These are some of the pictures taken:

Fake Nest Being Occupied

Nest Above the Tweeter

New Nest On the Top of The Nesting Plank

New Marking at Corner above the tweeter

Fresh Birdshit spots on manila board laid 2 weeks ago.

New Birdshit spots on cement floor.