German’s Swiftlet

The German’s Swiftlet (Collocalia germani), is a species of bird found in China, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical moist mountains. Its range is extensive, estimated at 600,000 to 6,000,000 square miles. There are between 80-160 million individuals in Europe alone.

The adult is 4.75 inches in length and weighs roughly a half ounce. The plumage is blackish-brown above, but much paler on the underparts. The tail is slightly forked and the wings are long and narrow. The bill and feet are black. They use echolocation to navigate the dark caves in which they nest in.

This swiftlet feeds over a range of habitats from coastal areas to the mountains. Its diet consists of flying insects which are caught on the wing. It often feeds in large flocks with other species of swift and swallow. It breeds in colonies in caves, in a cleft in a cliff or sometimes on a building. The bracket-shaped nest is white and translucent and is made of layers of hardened saliva attached to the rock. Two white, oval, non-glossy eggs are laid.

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