Typically, they leave the cave during the day to forage and return to their roost at night. Males and females look similar, these birds are monogamous and both partners take part in caring for the nestlings. The breeding season overlaps the wet season, which corresponds to an increased insect population. Clutch size depends on the location and the food source, but it is generally not large; Aerodramus swiftlets lay 1 to 2 eggs.
The use of artificial bird houses is growing, especially in Indonesia and Malaysia. “Farming” of nests is performed in purpose-built structures or old empty houses with “tweeters” playing recordings of bird calls on the roof to attract swiftlets. Some authorities have shown that modern techniques of nest farming have increased the bird population.
Edible bird’s nest is one of the most commonly used health-modulating foods in Chinese populations. The consumption of bird’s nest has existed since the Tang, Ming and Qing dynasties in China. It is quite popular throughout Asia and also extremely expensive. Edible bird’s nest is made from nests of some species of swiftlet, mainly the edible-nest from Aerodramus fuciphagus.
Male swiftlets make their nest only from strands of their gummy saliva, which hardens when exposed to air. Once the nests are harvested, they undergo an extremely cleaning process before getting sold. Eating swiftlet nest material is believed to help maintain skin tone and reinforce the immune system. It is also believed to strengthen the lungs and prevent cough, improve the constitution and prolong life. The nutritional value of 100 g of dry nest includes 49.9 g of water-soluble protein (including amido nitrogen, monoamine nitrogen, non-amino nitrogen, arginine, humin, histidine, lysine and cysteine), 30.6 g carbohydrate (glycoprotein and mucin), 4.9 g iron, 2.5 g inorganic salt (including potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, phosphorus, silica and other trace elements), and 1.4 g fiber (Dictionary of Traditional Chinese Medicine, The History of Chinese Medicine and the Nutrition Table).