• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Germain's Swiftlet - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Aerodramus germanus)
Photo by kampang
Singapore, March 2007

Alternative names: German's Swiftlet; Oustalet's Swiftlet

Aerodramus germani


Length 12cm - a medium-sized swiftlet.

  • upperparts glossy black-brown
  • rump white (germani) or grey (amechanus)
  • underparts distinctively paler
  • tail deeply forked
  • tarsi lightly feathered to naked

Similar Species

Very similar to Edible-nest Swiftlet, Black-nest Swiftlet, Mossy-nest Swiftlet and other swiftlets in its range

Photo by Hans&Judy Beste
Ipoh district, Malaysia, May 2012


Found in South-east Asia. Along the coastline from Hainan (China) south over Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand to the Malay Peninsula. Also on N Borneo and the S Philippines (mainly Palawan).

Common in parts of its range but population declining due over harvesting of nests.


Like other Aerodramus swiftlets this species is often placed in Collocalia.

Often considered conspecific with Edible-nest Swiftlet: reference [2] notes genetic divergence from that taxon is minimal.


Clements recognises the following subspecies [1]:

  • A. g. germani: Coasts of the Malay Peninsula, north Borneo and south Philippines
  • A. g. amechanus: Anambas Islands


Recorded over a wide variety of habitats, forests, clearings, coast, lowlands and mountains.



Feeds on insects, taken in flight. Gregarious and often foraging in big flocks together with other swiftlets and swallows.


Breeding season differs through range, but mainly from September to April. Nests in caves in big colonies, often together with Mossy-nest Swiftlet, Glossy Swiftlet and Black-nest Swiftlet. Also frequently recorded breeding in villages and towns. The nest is made purely out of saliva and looks whitish. Capable of echolocation. Lays two eggs. The nests are collected in some caves for the famous Chinese Swallow nest soup.




  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2022. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2022. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Eaton, JA, B van Balen, NW Brickle, FE Rheindt 2021. Birds of the Indonesian Archipelago (Greater Sundas and Wallacea), Second Edition. Lynx Editions. ISBN978-84-16728-44-2

Recommended Citation

External Links