Plume-toed Swiftlet collecting nesting materials

on 2nd September 2021

Saw Plume-toed Swiftlet (Collocalia affinis), also known as Glossy Swiftlet or Western Glossy Swiftlet, collecting nesting material from the Silvergrass (Miscanthus) flowering heads (below).

This swiftlet was also seen collecting leaves of the Geijera parviflora (introduced Australian Willow, also known as Wilga). Material was collected with the beak (below).

Previous observations on nesting materials collection:

  1. Twice seen collecting strands from creepers
  2. Once collecting fibre from Livistona chinensis palms
  3. Three times stealing material from Baya Weaver nests (HERE)
  4. Once harvesting aerial roots from epiphytes plants growing on trees.
  5. Once collecting the bark of an Albizia saman (Rain Tree) – stripping off strands of bark.
  6. Once collecting the ‘needles’ of a Casuarina tree (possibly Casuarina equisetifolia)
  7. Once collecting fine roots of tree orchids
  8. Leaves of the Geijera parviflora (introduced Australian Willow, also known as Wilga)
  9. A number of episodes of birds collecting dried bracken leaves (Dicranopteris linearis) – this is the commonest nesting material I have seen collected.


Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr)

Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

4th March 2021


Location: Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Habitat: Fringe of primary forest

Equipment: Equipment: Nikon D500 SLR with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR, handheld with Rode VideoMic Pro Plus Shotgun Microphone


If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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