Edible-nest Swiftlet

Scientific Name: Aerodramus fuciphagus
Alternative Name: Thunberg’s Swiftlet
Malay Name: Layang-layang Gua Sarang Putih
Chinese Name: 爪哇金丝燕

Found from Java, Sumatra, Borneo, Bali, Lesser Sundas, Singapore to Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Polytypic. Subspecies are: inexpectatus, vestitus, perplexus, fuciphagus, dammermani, micans

Local Subspecies: fuciphagus

Size: 11-12 cm

Identification: Indistinguishable from Black-nest Swiftlet when seen in flight. Can only be identified conclusively with a bird in hand (from the lightly feathered to naked tarsi) or at its nest which is all white. Lays two eggs as opposed to one egg of the Black-nest Swiftlet.

Similar looking species: Black-nest Swiftlet, Plume-toed Swiftlet

Habitat: Recorded over a wide variety of habitats, forests, clearings, coast, lowlands, mountains and also out at sea.

Behaviour/Ecology: Feed on small insects taken in flight. Gregarious and often forage in big flocks together with other swiftlet species and swallows.

Local Status: Common resident

Location: Throughout Singapore. Known to nest in Sentosa.


External Links:
Conservation Status: IUCN Red List Page
Photos: Oriental Bird Images
Sound Recordings: xeno-canto Link
Wikipedia Entry: Wikipedia Link

Craig Robson (2011) A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia
Earl of Cranbrook, et al (2013) The species of white-nest swiftlets (Apodidae, Collocaliini) of Malaysia and the origins of house-farm birds: morphometric and genetic evidence found in Forktail 29, pp. 107-119