January 28, 2015

Nang Chong Stories : Bird Houses for Birds' Nest

I cannot remember who started them. But there was a frenzy to build them all over SArawak. People started to attend course on Birds' nests harvesting and bird house construction.

Packages were offered by consultants. It was like RM 30,000 for the whole deal, from construction to installation of loudspeakers and music. They even guarranteed a certain amount of income by just a few months.
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This was man's response to the changing lives of birds and their nesting habits, the decline of swiftlets living in caves, the lack of authority governing birds' nest harvesting in natural caves. Licensing was a difficult game.

Then the prices of birds' nest spiralled up and then spiralled down. And then of course silence..

But you see bird houses going up every where from Lawas to Lundu, from Tanjong Manis to Tebedu.




And of course the abandoned houses of Foochow settlements along the Rajang were renovated and turned into bird houses.

Sumatra has purple birds nests which fetch thousands in the market. And there are also blood red birds nests because according to legend these swiftlets cough up blood when they build their nests.

I just hope that while the birds nests provide a good income, no animal has been killed in the process.

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