Glossy Swiftlet    Collocalia esculenta

  • Collocalia : Greek word kola – glue; kalia – Nest
  • Esculenta : Latin word for edible derived from esca food; edere to eat

Distribution in India: Resident of Andaman Islands in India.

Description: Size of 9–10 cm; wt. of 6·3–11 g. It is shiny black-blue above, including its rump; sometimes looks black and hooded. The chest is black; belly to flanks is white with fine black speckles at margins. The wing tips are rounded; underwing is black. The tail is rounded with shallow notch and tiny white panels.. The races are stresemanni, natalis, tame­tamele, desiderata, uropygialis, marginata and septentrionalis show varying amounts of white on rump; manadensis and spilura are very dark below, effectively lacking whitish belly.

Habitat : It is found in humid areas to arid ones. In lowland rainforest , forest, forest edge . It is found from  sea-level to 4500 m.

Food habits: It eats insects like Ants, wasps, Bees, Termites etc. which are caught on the wing. It often forms large loose flocks. It associates readily with other Swiftlets, swifts and Hirundines. It forages within forest.

Breeding habits: They breed  in Feb–Mar Andaman and Nicobar Island, Mar–Aug in Kuala Lumpur and peninsular Malaysia; Selangor Feb–Nov, Sumatra Mar and Jun, Flores in Mar–Sept, Sumbawa in  Apr–May, Sumba May, South Sulawesi Nov, Buru Sept and Vanuatu Jun–Feb. Young almost fledged late Sept, Taliabu, Sula Island, and Mindanao Apr–May . It nests singly or in colonies. The nest is a cup of moss, rootlets, lichens and other vegetable matter attached by saliva to vertical or very steep surface. The nest can also be shallow, flat-bottomed half-cups with central depression, entirely of vegetable matter, attached bracket-like to substrate with brownish saliva. The nest is built on wide variety of sites including buildings, shallow caves, mouths of large caves, below overhanging rocks, holes in rocks, hollow trees, among roots of large trees; sometimes dense nest clusters formed; all sites well lit due to lack of echolocation ability. The nest-building takes 19–36 days. They lay a clutch of 2 eggs with an interval of 2 days. Both the sexes do brooding. The incubation period is 19–24 days. The fledging period is 34–50 days. The young are fed several times daily.