What is Bird's Nest?

Edible bird's nest is nest made purely of swiftlet's saliva. They're normally found in caves near shoreline cliffs or under eaves of houses and are harvest by hand. Feathers and dirt are then removed from the nest before they are sold to the markets. The Swiftlet bird also scientifically called Collocalia and better known as Walet in Indonesia belongs to the Apodidae family, which are different to the common Swallow bird. 

Swiftlet live in flocks along tropical seaside and they feed on wild insects. The size of a Swiftlet is about 9 centimeters, half the size of a Swallow. Swiftlet has a shorter and rectangular-sharped tail while Swallow has a longer and forked tail. 

The Swiftlet lives for about 15 to 18 years. Age of these swiflets determines the quality of its nest produced. The older the birds, the more simmer-tolerant the nests are.

Bird's nests harvesting are normally carried out 3 times per year, with each harvesting period generally lasting 3 months. The first period is from January to April, this is immediately followed by the second and third periods. 

The rainfall is particularly high during the first period this entices and environment highly suitable for the growth of tiny animals and plants giving the swiftlet plenty of food. 

     3 Types
  • During the first period the swiftlet grow particularly strong, thus producing large amount of saliva. The nest harvested during this period are the most expensive because they are bigger in sizes, thicker, highly swollen and are cleaner. 

  • The second harvest is normally carried out during the dry season. With the decrease in food supplies for the swiftlet results in the bird’s nests being thin and loose and the nest thread are tick. The shape and the swelling capacity of the nests are inferior to those harvest during the first period.   

  • The third harvest is well into the drought period. During this time, the swiftlets are weak. Their secretion of saliva is low and their feathers detached easily. The bird’s nests that they produce are smaller and contains more impurities