Crested treeswift

These little birds skillfully make their tiny nest on a tree branch and glue them with their saliva

Thimindu Goonatillake

Often observed flying in small groups, these birds possess a distinctively solitary nature, preferring to keep their distance from other species while navigating the diverse habitats of parks, open woodlands, and deciduous forests.

One of the most remarkable aspects of Crested Treeswifts is their nesting behavior, which reflects their reliance on specialized adaptations for survival in their arboreal environment. Constructed with meticulous precision, their nests are tiny, shallow, and thin-walled structures made from a combination of feathers, bark pieces, and saliva—a remarkable feat of avian engineering that highlights the birds’ resourcefulness and ingenuity.

Positioned delicately on tree branches, these nests serve as incubation chambers for the Crested Treeswift’s limited clutch size, typically consisting of just one greyish-blue egg. Both parents share the responsibility of incubating the egg, with the female devoting more time to this critical task while the male ventures out in search of food to sustain the growing family.

Despite their best efforts to adapt to changing environmental conditions, Crested Treeswifts face significant threats from human activities such as deforestation and desertification. As forests are cleared and natural habitats degraded, the availability of suitable nesting sites and foraging grounds diminishes, placing pressure on populations and jeopardizing their long-term survival.

Conservation efforts aimed at protecting and restoring the habitats of Crested Treeswifts are therefore essential for ensuring the continued existence of this unique species.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Bangladesh
2018
Bhutan
2018
Cambodia
2018
China
2018
India
2018
Laos
2018
Myanmar
2018
Nepal
2018
Sri Lanka
2018
Thailand
2018
Vietnam
2018

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No