Collocalia Fuciphaga Species

  • Popular name: White nest, House nest, Wild/Cave nest
  • Produced by the largest bird (in size & population) among these 3 (edible nest producer) Collocalia species
  • Uses mostly only gelatinous strands for forming the entire nest
  • Gelatinous strands content in the unprocessed nest: 85 - 97%
  • The most popular nests in the market, as it commands the highest price
  • Varieties in color: White, Red, Gold
  • Sold as whole pieces (most popular), stripes, crumbs, and cakes

Collocalia Esculanta Species

  • Popular name: Grass nest
  • Uses leaves (usually pine leaves) with its gelatinous strands as 'glue' for forming the nest
  • Gelatinous strands content in the unprocessed nest: 5 - 15%
  • Very popular for restaurant consumption because of its lowest price
  • Sold as stripe (most popular), crumbs, and cakes
  • Mostly have grayish color

Collocalia Maxima Species

  • Popular name: Feather nest, Black Nest
  • Molting in the process, and using their feathers with the gelatinous strands as 'glue' for making the nest
  • Gelatinous strands content in the unprocessed nest: 5 - 15%
  • Very popular in 'swallow nest cake-shape' market
  • Sold as cakes (most popular) and crumbs
  • The strands look thick and strong

Wild / Cave Nest

Usually, there are two Collocalia species that live in caves, Collocalia Fuciphaga (White Nest) and Collocalia Maxima (Feather Nest). But the nest from Collocalia Fuciphaga (White nest) is what we usually called for Cave Nest in the market. Probably because the harvesting of cave nests is a potentially hazardous occupation, the Collocalia Fuciphaga cave nest commands the highest price in the overall swallow nest market. The cave nests, within the natural conditions of the cave, usually have a bowl-like shape, thick body, and strong legs. The bowl-like shape allows better protection for the eggs or chicks against predators and weather, and the extra strong and big legs are needed for the nests to stick on the wall, since the cave usually has a very high humidity level. Cave nest is found in Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

 

House Nest

Grass Nest from the Collocalia Esculanta Species is the easiest to find in the swallow nest farm. As their population grows, this species will attract the Collocalia Fuciphaga Species, producers of the popular white house nests, even though it may take as long as 10 years. Depending on the nest color, the weather, and the insect population (as the bird's diets), the nests are harvested between 1 and 4 times a year. This usually occurs right after the eggs are laid (in this case: the eggs are then moved to fake nests made of plastic, or to put the eggs in hatching machines), or right after the chicks are able to fly.

House nest is usually cultivated in the places where the cave that producing cave nest is nearby. To date, Indonesia is the leading country for producing and exporting house nest. This is mainly because the farmed swallow nest industry has started in Indonesia in the early 1960's, while in Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam still heavily depended on their Cave Nest until late 1990's.


Why some nests have different colors is still a polemic debate. However, most of swallow nest farmers agree that the factors are including temperature, humidity level, and ammonia level of the farm/house (caused by birds' excretion), also the insect species in that specific area (as birds' diet). Especially for Collocalia Fuciphaga Species (Wild and House Nests), the nest colors command different prices as well.

 

Red Nest

This nest has a bright red color and commands the highest price among any other color, due to their high demand and rarity. Not many houses have this kind of nests, and even if they do, the nests can only be harvested 1 to 2 times a year. RED NEST and GOLD NEST production are less than 10% of overall bird nests market in the world.

 

Gold Nest

Same as Red Nest for rarity and price, this nest has an orange color ranging from tangerine peel color to egg-yolk color. Depending on the color, the lighter one may be priced slightly lower.

 

 

White Nest

WHITE NEST is the most popular nests in the market, and usually harvested 3 to 4 times a year. The sales for WHITE NEST (from all 3 Collocalia species) are more than 75% of overall swallow nests market in the world.

 

 

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