All posts tagged: nesting

5-Star Bird Houses for Picky but Precious Guests: Nesting Swiftlets

5-Star Bird Houses for Picky but Precious Guests: Nesting Swiftlets

With no windows, the gloomy, gray building looming four stories above the rice fields in a remote village in Indonesian Borneo resembles nothing more than a prison. Hundreds of similar concrete structures, riddled with small holes for ventilation, tower over village shops and homes all along Borneo’s northwestern coast. But these buildings are not for people. They are for the birds. Specifically, the swiftlet, which builds its nests inside. Zulkibli, 56, a government worker who built his giant birdhouse in the village of Perapakan in 2010, supplements his income by harvesting the swiftlets’ nests and selling them for export to China. The nests, made from the birds’ saliva, are the key ingredient in bird’s nest soup, an expensive delicacy believed by many Chinese to have health benefits. Left to their own devices, swiftlets usually make their nests in coastal caves, where harvesting them can be hazardous work. The key to attracting the birds to a man-made home, Mr. Zulkibli said, is treating them like “rich humans” and guaranteeing their comfort and safety. Mr. Zulkibli, like …

Before Russia’s satellite threat, there were Starfish Prime, nesting dolls and robotic arms

Before Russia’s satellite threat, there were Starfish Prime, nesting dolls and robotic arms

WASHINGTON (AP) — What would it mean if Russia used nuclear warheads to destroy U.S. satellites? Your home’s electrical and water systems could fail. Aviation, rail and car traffic could come to a halt. Your cellphone could stop working. These are among the reasons why there was alarm this week over reports that Russia may be pursuing nuclear weapons in space. The White House has said the danger isn’t imminent. But reports of the new anti-satellite weapon build on longstanding worries about space threats from Russia and China. So much of the country’s infrastructure is now dependent on U.S. satellite communications — and those satellites have become increasingly vulnerable. It would also not be the first time a nuclear warhead has been detonated in space, or the only capability China and Russia are pursuing to disable or destroy a U.S. satellite. Here’s a look at what’s happened in the past, why Russia may be pursuing a nuclear weapon for space now, and what the U.S. is doing about all the space threats it faces. THE …