She did not understand the meaning of DBS and I took more than 10 minutes to talk about what will happen when the syndrome strikes.
When I work up from my bed yesterday I told myself to make a call to this lady who wrote to me some time ago.
She volunteered to be one of those who wanted to participate in a research works with a local agriculture university.
My reason to call her was just to arrange for my short visit for a preview.
I was lucky when she replied and told me that she was at her BH at that particular moment.
"Pak Harry I think you need to come over now since I am from Kulim and at 3pm I need to rush back to fetch my daughter from her school."
I told myself that it was either now or never. So took about 20 minutes drive to meet her and went straight to her BH.
Before I entered I posted a few questions about her BH.
She said that the BH started operation in late 2010. At as this month it is 2.5 years old.
The total number of nests according to her record book was 257 nests with about 630 birds staying inside.
More than 60% of the nests were at the lowest floor, about 30 % on the middle floor and 10% on the top most floor.
The first thing I observed were those partitions/walls that help to block those light but the passage from one room to the other were a bit too unusual. It was a bit too difficult to make the birds to find their way out.
I found that the BH has two entrance holes.
The main door opening was via a kind of opened wall monkey house and the other from the top facing the rooftop pool.
The open monkey house is a normal monkey house with roof on the top but without walls on three of its sides. Opened concept.
After viewing the rests of the floors I found something that were common in most birdhouses.
1) Most of the nests, more than 99%, were at those corners. Only one was on the straight plank and four on those fake nests.
2) Nearly 80% of those nests were above or very closed to those internal sound playing tweeters.
3) The nests were either at those corners at the middle or at the wall of each room.
The owner complained that her tenant seems to choose only those corners and not the flat surfaces.
"Pak Harry, I don't know how to get them to populate the flat plank areas".
One very strange thing was that the BH was with not a single humidifier and no wet floor can be found.
The three floors looks very dry and this matter was brought up to her attention.
I reminded her that very soon, usually after 3 years into operation, most BHs will face this phenomena which I called dry BH syndrome (DBS).
According to my past experiences once the water from those cement walls and floors dried up and if all your humidifiers are dead, your BH will humidity will be equal to the outside air around 50-60% RH.
The recommended range for a BH is 85-95%RH.
With very low humidity your nests will be very dry and brittle. If you try to harvest these dry nests they will be easily broken into small pieces.
Once that happen the chance of those young birds clinging onto the nest wall might crack or even break the nest walls.
If they are too young the chances for them to take a flight is negligible.
Those cracks on the nest might become a kind of trap to young or old birds legs. If one of their leg are stuck they will eventually die.
This will cause more and more birds to move to another BH nearby and your BH will have either a stagnant nests population on a reverse gear in numbers.
My sincere advise to her was to start looking into the installation of suitable humidifiers at least one per floor.
My recommendation was to opt for those mist maker with no noise during its operation attached to an auto humidity sensor. Set the humidity on the auto sensor to about 85% RH.
For the lowest floor she should consider using those wet floor system.