Glossy Swiftlet – juvenile waste disposal

posted in: Waste | 1

“Stopped at a resort in Cameron Highlands, at ~1,700m ASL, for a break and in their rather dark car park spotted 14 Glossy Swiftlet (Collocalia esculenta cyanoptila) nests with 8 active, all with juveniles. The ceiling was rather low and nests were built into the many corners created by beams running on the ceiling. The car park is open at three ends i.e. no walls. Material used was some fibrous vegetable matter with bark in some.

“Some had parents in attendance at 9 am in the morning. Others had parents coming in to feed. Did not use any flash so as not to disturb adults and juveniles.

“Sharing here the method the juveniles use to dispose of waste. While the parent is around, they push up the rear end, with parent supporting the front (above left). Once the rear end was sufficiently elevated they pooped and lowered self into the nest (top). Quite an efficient mechanism to keep the nest clean, the floor below is another matter (above right).”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
~1,700m ASL, Cameron Highlands, Malaysia
27th June 2012

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