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(Animals) any of various small swifts of the Asian genus Collocalia that often live in caves and use echolocation: the nests, which are made of hardened saliva, are used in oriental cookery to make birds' nest soup


(ˈswɪft lɪt)

any swift of the genus Collocalia, of SE Asia, Indonesia, and Australia, certain species of which use saliva to construct nests, which are used in making bird's-nest soup.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.swiftlet - swift of eastern Asia; produces the edible bird's nest
swift - a small bird that resembles a swallow and is noted for its rapid flight
Collocalia, genus Collocalia - a genus of Apodidae
References in periodicals archive ?
The cave is inhabited by hundreds of swiftlets that flit about in the dim light and nest in the darkness of the cave's upper reaches.
Diptera are also prominent in the diets of a number of swifts and swiftlets foraging at lower levels (Hails and Amirruden 1981; Tarburton 1986; Lourie and Tompkins 2000; Collins et al.
The nests are white and translucent and can be found wherever colonies of swiftlets are breeding, in caves, on cliffs or sometimes on a building.
Edible birds' nests, had been traded for centuries, being obtained from the small nests made from the saliva of swiftlets living in caves, and were sought for the Chinese market as a delicacy.
Made from the saliva of cave-dwelling birds called swiftlets, the nests are dangerous to harvest, laborious to prepare and have, according to traditional Chinese medicine, a long list of health benefits.
Swiftlets build nests with their glue-like saliva, cemented on the walls of cold, dark places like limestone caves, tunnels, under the roofs of coves along seashores, and in barns, far away from predators.
Bird's Nest actually refers to the nests that are built by small birds called swiftlets.
A good example of effective management in a region where enforcement is, for the most part, weak or symbolic, is the strong protection given to reefs surrounding small islands that attract swiftlets to nest.
With one exception, all birds known to echolocate are swiftlets.
Swiftlets live and raise their young in remote caves on islands along the coasts of Vietnam, Singapore, Burma, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand.
This is vital for animals who use a sightless navigation system such as bats, or birds like swiftlets who live in dark caves.