Friday, July 8, 2011

The Mystic Glossy Swiftlets

The Glossy Swiftlet (Collocalia esculenta) is a species of swift in the Apodidae family. It is found in Australia, Brunei, Christmas Island, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Thailand, and Vanuatu. It is shiny black-blue above, including its rump; sometimes looks black and hooded. Chest black; belly to flanks white with fine black speckles at margins. Wing tips are rounded; underwing is black. Tail rounded with shallow notch and tiny white panels. It is similar to the White-rumped Swiftlet, that its upper- and underparts must be seen to identify it. It is 9-11.5 cm. Its voice is a soft twittering. (wiki)

The photos below were taken at Balben Family Cove in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato.
These birds have been living there for more than a decade now. They've build nests on the main house's front door header so my relatives decided to build a small house for them. It also protects the floor from their droppings :)
Glossy swiftlets' bird nests
Taking photos of these birds can be a bit tricky and quite difficult to get close ups. But here's a video clip anyway. Enjoy! 

My aunt said they are always seen in pairs and would usually go outside every morning. These guys fly very fast and they never fail to charm me with their sweet tweets especially at dawn. Always feels like an enchanting wake up call :)
Glossy Swiftlets in Pairs


  1. Always in pairs? Usually birds fly in a flock or alone. Interesting!

  2. Yes Gay. Saw these birds many years ago and they really live in pairs. Another interesting note though is they're supposed to be living in caves as they are believed to be wild. Somehow, my relatives in Lake Sebu have learnt a peaceful co-existence.



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