Indian Swiftlet (Collocalia unicolor) is a tiny blackish brown bird with a slightly forked tail. It is a resident bird of coastal and western ghats especially the west coast strip from Ratnagiri and down south. It is also found throughout Sri Lanka. This bird builds its nest in natural caves and groots in western ghat complex or in rocky islands. Breeding season is from March to June. It builds the nest with its own saliva that has some gastronomic and commercial value.
On 8th April 2001, we visited Vengurla Rocks for bird watching and saw a nesting colony of this swiftlet in a cave on Bandra Rocks (local name of the islet). In this cave we found thousands of nests of this species and also Bamboo scaffolding erected by poachers to collect nests for smuggling. Apparently, this nest collecting activity has been going on since many years. We informed the forest department and they arrested poachers red handed on 17th April 2001.
We undertook a survey to find out current status and poaching activity in the area. Here is a report: Status of Indian swiftlet