White-cheeked Barbet Photo Guide

The white-cheeked barbet has a white ‘eyebrow'(supercilium) and a white cheek stripe. This barbet is endemic to Western Ghats. I am sure you will instantly recognize the Kutrr Kutrr call of the bird which is available in the intro page here.

Enjoy the photos  of this beautiful bird and learn how to recognize the White-cheeked Barbet aka small green barbet (Megalaima viridis).

White-cheeked-barbet-close-up-id-450Photo Courtesy of   Joseph T A    @ Kanjirapally,Kerala on a Mulberry Tree, Sep 2009

You can clearly see the why the bird is called white-cheeked barbet in this excellent shot. Notice the white ‘eyebrow’ technically called supercilium. Note the fat bill, the streaked breast and green body. The very similar brown-headed barbet has yellow skin around the eyes whereas this one absolutely no yellow anywhere near the eye.

white-cheeked-barbet-in-guava-tree-kerala2                             Photo Courtesy of Sandeep Gangadharan    @ Kannur,Kerala on a Guava tree, Sep 2008
They are frugivorous i.e. feeds on fruit. Their young are fed on an insect rich diet. I have seen many photos in internet where they are seen feeding on fruits of common trees in city gardens. Ripe papayas,guava,mulberry and annona are all in included in their menu. If you plant these small fruiting trees in your yard, you will be helping these birds find their daily bread!

white-cheeked barbet lalbagh                              Photo Courtesy of Giridhar    @ Lalbabh,Bangalore, Jun 2014
Their main range is along the Western Ghats south from the Surat Dangs and along the associated hills of southern India into parts of the southern Eastern Ghats.In some areas such as in the city of Bangalore, this species is seen more frequently nowadays ( as of 2015)  compared to the brown-headed barbet which was once said to occur there.

bird_white_cheeked_barbet_flame_of_the_forest_tree                       Photo Courtesy of Natasha Mhatre    @ IISc,Bangalore on Flame of the Forest Tree, Jan 2008
Another shot of the bird from Bangalore on a Flame of the Forest Tree. This is a very interesting tree native to the region including India.

white-cheeked barbet nesting                                                  Photo Courtesy of Mr.Bird Brain    @ Nandi Hills,Karnataka , May 2011
They nest in cavities in tree trunks. They chisel cavities themselves like woodpeckers and are hence called primary cavity nesters. The nesting season is from December to July. They prefer to nest in Gulmohur and African Tulip trees in urban areas.

References
1. White-cheeked barbet page @ Wikipedia

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