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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
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
"It's a great place for birds," she told me, `pointing out swiftlets and swallows skimming over the pond around which the rooms are built, "and it's not unusual to see orang-utans here, too."
Edible bird's nest is an animal product that is produced by swiftlets. The birds make it using their saliva.
At the last stop, grey-rumped swiftlets soared above the UP Math building, looking exactly like the small letter M that kids always draw to represent flying birds.
After they got married, his town was renamed El Nido after the nests of the balinsasayaw, swiftlets turned into an expensive soup by Chinese food enthusiasts.
Even more challenging caves shelter swiftlets (balinsasayaw) that have from time immemorial yielded a Palawan export.
Bird's nest, I learned later is highly prized and very expensive - the solidified saliva of swiftlets. If you're feeling adventurous you can also try jellyfish (slightly chewy and crunchy) and ducks' tongues (tasty, but watch out for the bone).
Koon, "Features-bird's nest soup-market demand for this expensive gastronomic delicacy threatens the aptly named edible-nest swiftlets with extinction in the east," Wildlife Conservation, vol.
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.
I finally asked someone, and he informed that that these are houses in which to raise swiftlets. So, Sarawakians have figured out how to get birds' nests without having to be the lucky owner of a cave.
Besides bats, other mammals such as whales, dolphins, shrews and tenrecs as well as birds such as oilbirds and swiftlets are known to use echolocation to navigate, investigate their habitat and search for food.