Edible bird's nests have perceived aphrodisiacal benefits and are a popular medicinal delicacy in Asia. The material sells online for upwards of $10 per ounce.
Edible bird’s nests feature the sticky salivary secretion that the males of some species of cave Swiftlets secrete to form a nest. The highest quality edible nests only contain the hardened strands of saliva that make up the solid nest. These are the nests of traditional Chinese bird’s nest soup.
Bird spit. Yum!
While the edible nests are found in many parts of Asia, including China and Thailand, unscrupulous companies often overharvest the nests, taking them before the birds reproduce and replenish their colonies. Harvesters also destroy the nests of other Swiftlet species to encourage the growth the editable nest colonies. Several Swiftlet species are on the decline in Asia because of growing worldwide market pressure for editable bird's nests.