All around the islands in the Phang Nga Bay, these tiny swiftlets can be observed, flying endlessly above the sea at incredible speed.
They build up their nest on the walls of the caves and anfractuosity of the many islands around. These nests, mainly composed of the birds’ dried saliva, are highly appreciated in Chinese cuisine and always reach very high prices on the international market
Koh Yao Islanders became experts in collecting these nest… Every year, spirits are worshiped on the Island of Koh Karat (also called Koh Rang Nok, “bird’s nests islands”, during a “pujo” ceremony where many people from the island gather during a whole day, firing firecrackers in the caves and sharing a traditional “nuri” banquet on the beach. This ceremony will ensure that the next harvest of bird’s nests will be successful and safe.
- Beautiful pictures of the cave and “bird’s nest hunters”, from Eric Valli
- Swiftlets taxonomy here and the edible-nest swiftlet
Aerodramus fuciphagus, Salangane à nid blanc, Edible-nest swiftlet