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Black-nest Swiftlet - BirdForum Opus

Alternative names: Indo-Malayan Swiftlet; Robinson's Swiftlet; Lowe's Swiftlet

Taken at an eco-tourism project
Photo by Adam Riley
Gomantong Caves, Borneo, Malaysia, May 2010
Aerodramus maximus


With 12 to 14cm a quite large Swiftlet

Similar Species

Very similar to Edible-nest Swiftlet, Mossy-nest Swiftlet and Himalayan Swiftlet.


Found in south-east Asia. From southernmost Myanmar over the Malay Peninsula to Sumatra, western Java and Borneo. An isolated population in southern Vietnam.
Scarce to common in its range. Populations however are decreasing due to over harvesting of nests which are used for soups.


Like other Aerodramus Swiftles this species is often placed in Collocalia.
Volcano Swiftlet, Himalayan Swiftlet and Indochinese Swiftlet have been placed in this species.


Three subspecies recognized[1]:


Recorded over a variety of habitats, from lowlands to mountains and over deep forest. Usually near breeding caves.



Feeds on insects, taken in flight. Gregarious and often in big flocks together with Mossy-nest Swiftlet or other species. Most active at dawn and dusk.


Breeding season between September and April. Nests in caves in big colonies, often together with Mossy-nest Swiftlet, Glossy Swiftlet and Edible-nest Swiftlet. The nest is made with feathers and large amounts of saliva and looks blackish. Capable of echo-location. Lays one egg. The nests are collected in some caves for the famous Chinese Swallow nest soup.


  1. Clements, JF. 2011. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to August 2011. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist

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