Edible-nest Swiftlet

Scientific Name: Aerodramus fuciphagus

Malay Name: Layang-layang Gua Sarang Putih

Chinese Name: 爪哇金丝燕

Alternative Name(s): Thunberg's Swiftlet

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

Taxonomy: 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: Plume-toed Swiftlet, Black-nest 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: Very common resident and very common introduced resident

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2016)

Location: Throughout Singapore. Known to nest in Sentosa.

Featured articles:


BirdLife International. (2016). Aerodramus fuciphagus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T60847684A95163737.en. Accessed on 1 January 2023

Cranbrook, E., Goh, W. L., Lim, C. K. & Rahman, M. A. (2013) The species of white-nest swiftlets (Apodidae, Collocaliini) of Malaysia and the origins of house-farm birds: morphometric and genetic evidence. Forktail, 29, 107–119

Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.

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