Saturday, October 17, 2009
Swiftlet Prefer To Build Their Nest On Any Kind Of Fake Nests !!!
If you enter a fairly new BH where do you think those swiftlet will start building their nests?
With so many BHs that I have personally entered these are their preferred locations:
This is something very sure and common. They prefer the 90* corners due to many reasons and one of them is security. The 90* corner provide them with two walls and the ceiling as their protection. The left and right nesting planks and the ceiling above gave them the feeling of being very save as compared to the 180* plank surface.
Corner nests are easier and faster to form. The way these nests are build are simply by attaching those saliva string end on one plank and attached the other end to the other plank. The moment that is done the body shape will take place. The time taken to build a nest is much faster as compared to those on the 180 plank surface.
2)Above the Internal sound tweeters.
Well this is another favorite place to find nests. It might be in front above the tweeter's mouth or at the back of the tweeter's buttock/base.
Why on the tweeters?
My logical explanation is that when the young couple entered the pitch dark room they find those tweeters the safest place to be at.
This is mainly due to the fact that the baby birds sound are being played on these tweeters. The sound make them feel that they are very closed to a nest with baby. If the baby is there then there is no predators to snatch their own babies when they start a family.
3) Any Protrusion on the Nesting planks like Fake nests.
This will be the next best locations which you can easily locate those new nests.
According to a study done by Chulalongkon University of Thailand, the most favorite place where those birds prefer to build their nests in any cave ceilings will be those protrusion made on the ceiling or wall surfaces.
I believe the small protrusion will allow easier maneuvering while building those nests. As such any kind of protrusion like fake nests of any kind (paper, plastic, aluminium, string, wires, tweeters, wood strip,nesting planks steel anchors, asbestos hole covers and etc) that provide enough space for those birds to hang to will be their preferred nest building location.
The above observations are just my personal findings and if you want to increase the number of new nests in your BH look into providing these preferred sites.
Try not to put any corner covers in the early stages of your BH. Just try to compare two BHs side by side with you. The neighbor is without any corner covers while you blocked all your corners with corner covers. Which house do you think those birds will love to patronise, assuming other micro habitats are the same?
My advise is to let those birds colonise those 90* corners and once they are used the corners twice you can harvest those nests, one by one, and place the corner covers.
For the case of those tweeters, my advise is to put as many as you can. Just think that your BH have only 20 tweeters. One day there was a colony of birds, say 1000, who came from a broken home, I mean their BH in Padang Indonesia came crumbling down due to those 7.5 Richter scale earthquakes, and find that only 20 pairs have a place to cling to.
They might move to your next door neighbors who have 100 tweeters a floor.
The best rule of the thumb is to put about 1 tweeter per 10 square feet of those nesting areas.
Example: If your BH is 20' X 70' area you can calculate the total area to be equal to 1,400 square feet less about 25% due to the entrance hole, staircase and roving areas then divide by 10.
In this particular example it should be 1400 X 0.75 = 1050. You now push the decimal point by one slot thus becoming 105.0. So the total tweeters would be 105 pieces.
Well since those birds also preferred to build their nests at the 90* angle (VIP housing), you should fix these tweeters not far away from the angle. My advise is not more then 5 inches away from those precious VIP housing areas.
Fake nests, in any form, provide those protrusion for easy latching while building their nests. I will recommend for the first phase of your BH to insert about 50 fake nests in a floor of 20' X 70' size.
Remember these fake nests shall only be used during the period where you want the target number of nests you opt for, say 200 nests. Once you have reached the targeted number you might want to remove them to another BH or another floor of the same BH.
The used fake nests are very attractive to young birds. If you move them to a new BH or a new floor, the young couple will quickly seize the laced property. They feel more like staying in a house which was once occupied and surely it is a safe place to build a family.
Well I hope this new article gave you some ideas on what is good for your new or underperformed BHs.
Donation: I am sure you have learned something after reading this article. If you feel that the lesson learned deserved an ancourangement you can contribute a some donation to this account: Yayasan Kebajikan Nah Sabah, 100930010038410 at Allied Bank, Malaysia.