Edible-nest Swiftlet (Aerodramus fuciphagus)

The Edible-nest Swiftlet is a small bird species found in southeastern Asia, primarily in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand. These birds are unique because of their ability to create nests solely from their saliva. This saliva nest is also called the bird's nest, which is highly valued in Chinese cuisine.

The Edible-nest Swiftlet is a sparrow-sized bird with a crescent-shaped tail and glossy black feathers. They have a small, sharp beak designed for catching insects in mid-air, and they rarely land on the ground. They build their nests on the walls of caves or in the dark recesses of caves, mainly for protection against predators such as snakes, rats, and other animals. Though they live in flocks, they are highly territorial. These birds are usually active at night and dawn or dusk and are commonly found in the coastal areas.

Their nests are made up almost exclusively of hardened saliva, which is high in a protein that is commonly seen as a luxury food item in Chinese cuisine. There are two types of nests, white nests and black nests, and the latter, which are made from bird saliva supplemented with grass and twigs, are considered the most expensive. The nests are harvested primarily in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand, and the demand has led to illegal poaching and harvesting that has constituted over-harvesting of these birds.

Edible-nest Swiftlets feed exclusively on insects, which they ingest in flight. Their diet consists mainly of termites, ants, and small beetles. These birds are capable of consuming up to half of their body weight in insects each day.

Edible-nest Swiftlets have a unique song, a series of clicks, chirps, and whistles. The male's song is characterized by a higher pitch than the female's. They are also known for their remarkable flying ability, capable of reaching speeds of up to 75 mph.

Unfortunately, despite being protected by law, the Edible-nest Swiftlet is still hunted for its nest. This illegal trade has led to habitat loss and population decline, which is detrimental to the biodiversity of the region. Conservation efforts are necessary to ensure the continued existence of the Edible-nest Swiftlet.

Other names

Aerodramus fuciphagus



Edible-nest Swiftlet

salangana de niu blanc



bjelogrla čiopica

salangana ostrovní

Grågumpet Salangan



Salangane à nid blanc


Salangana nidoedule


Tunbergo erodramas


salangana sundajska



Čiopica belog gnezda

salangána sundská

Salangana nidoblanco


Çorba Yelyutanı

салангана сундайська



Walet sarang-putih