Saturday, November 19

Glossy swiftlet

   ›      ›   Glossy swiftlet - Collocalia esculenta.

The glossy swiftlet (Collocalia esculenta) belongs to the family of swifts, Apodidae. These swiftlet species are distributed in India (Andaman and Nicobar Islands), Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea and several islands in this region. Vagrant birds are seen visiting Australia. There are thirty-one recognized subspecies of these swiftlet species.

Glossy swiftlet - Overview

  • Scientific name: Collocalia esculenta
  • Species author: (Linnaeus, 1758)
  • Synonyms: Hirundo esculenta Linnaeus, 1758
  • Family: Apodidae › Apodiformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Common Name: Glossy swiftlet
  • Other languages: Chinese: 白腹金丝燕, French: Salangane soyeuse, German: Glanzkopfsalangane, Spanish: Salangana lustrosa, Russian: Белобрюхая салангана, Malay: Burung Layang-layang Licin, Indonesian: Burung Burung Walet Sapi
  • Other names: White-bellied swiftlet, Grey-rumped Swiftlet, Beavan's Swiftlet
  • Distribution: India, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and several Islands in this region
  • Diet and feeding habits: dragonflies, flies, ants, aphids, wasps, bees; catches insects in flight
  • IUCN status listing: Least Concern (LC)
The glossy swiftlet was earlier placed under the genus Hirundo (swallows). Collocalia esculenta is closely related to C. linchi (cave swiftlet). There are thirty-one recognized subspecies of these swiftlet species.

Appearance, physical description and identification

The glossy swiftlet is a small aerial bird, measuring 9 to 10 cm in length and weighing 8 to 10 grams. It is glossy blue-black on the upperside including the rump. The chest is black and the belly and the flanks are whitish with fine black speckles. The throat is brown. The tail and wing tips are rounded. The underwing is black and gray. Its call is a soft twittering sound.
Indian birds - Glossy swiftlet - Collocalia esculenta
Birds of India - Glossy swiftlet - Collocalia esculenta
Birds of India - Collocalia esculenta
Indian birds - Glossy swiftlet - Collocalia esculenta
Indian birds - Glossy swiftlet - Collocalia esculenta
Birds of India - Glossy swiftlet - Collocalia esculenta

Origin, geographical range and distribution

These glossy swiftlet species are distributed in India (Andaman and Nicobar Islands), Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Timor, Brunei, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Mergui Archipelago, Batu Islands, Mentawai Islands, Nias Island, Christmas Island, Geelvink Bay islands, Louisiade Archipelago, Vanuatu, Solomons Islands and New Caledonia. The subspecies C. e. affinis (western glossy swiftlet) is distributed in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Ecosystem and habitat

These birds are seen flying over forests, streams, rivers, roads and buildings catching insects in flight.

Diet and feeding habits

The diet of these swiftlet species mostly consists of insects like aerial spiders, dragonflies, flies, ants, aphids, wasps and bees. They catch the prey in flight.

Reproduction and breeding habits

The breeding season of glossy swiftlet is from February to March in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. In Malaysia the breeding season is from March to August. These species nests inside caves and buildings. The cup shaped nest is built by glueing nesting material with saliva to vertical or horizontal surfaces.

Movement and migration patterns

These species are mostly sedentary and are residents in their range. Post breeding dispersal of juveniles takes place. They may make local movements for feeding and breeding.

Conservation status and concerns

The global population size of these glossy swiftlet species has not been quantified. The overall population trend is considered to be stable. These species have an extremely large range and population. These swiftlet species do not approach the thresholds for population trend criterion and the population size criterion. Hence considered not "Vulnerable" to extinction.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated these glossy swiftlet species and has listed them as of "Least Concern".

Taxonomy and scientific classification of Collocalia esculenta
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Apodiformes
Family:Apodidae
Subfamily:-
Genus:Collocalia
Species:C. esculenta
Binomial name:Collocalia esculenta
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern
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1.Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/francesco_veronesi/16261159996/
Image author: Francesco Veronesi | License: CC BY-SA 2.0 (as on 2016-11-18)
2.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Glossy_Swiftlet_(Collocalia_esculenta)_(6967247846).jpg
Image author: Thomas Brown | License: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
3.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Glossy_Swiftlet_(_Collocalia_esculenta).jpg
Image author: Lip Kee | License: CC BY-SA 2.0
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