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Bornean Swiftlet - BirdForum Opus

Photo by James Eaton
Sabah, Malaysia
Collocalia dodgei


A very small Swiftlet (10cm).

  • Square tail
  • Plumage green-glossed with no rectrix spots
  • No feather tuft on hind toe (only visible in hand)
  • Not capable of echolocation

Similar Species

Looks very similar to Glossy Swiftlet (not overlapping in range); but especially Plume-toed Swiftlet seems to be a problem. Plume-toed Swiftlet is 10-20% larger but this is probably not useful in the field. Color of the gloss is not helpful, though overall lack of gloss might be. Plume-toed Swiftlet has a capped appearance with a dark, glossy cap that contrasts with a less glossy, brown rest of face. This effect is less strong in Bornean Swiftlet. It may also be worth-while to check recordings before going into the field.


Endemic to northern Borneo (Mount Kinabalu).
A common restricted-range species.


This is a monotypic species.
Formerly considered conspecific with Cave Swiftlet.


Restricted to high altitude.


Forages in crowns of fruit trees, especially fruiting figs. A gregarious species.
Makes a bracket-shaped nest out of thin vegetable pieces. Lays two eggs.
Resident, no movements known.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2015. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2015, with updates to August 2015. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Identification criteria of this species especially compared with Plume-toed Swiftlet

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