Wednesday, February 20, 2013

White Cheeked Barbet

This is a common bird in Southern India, and is an active bird throughout the year.

Its calls are like 'kutroo...kutroo' and is pleasant to hear. Usually when one starts to make calls, others also join and start calling one after the other. That is, if there are two birds in the surrounding both make calls alternatively. Even when I am writing this, I am hearing them! May be because of its 'kutroo..' calls, in Malayalam it has a name - 'chinna-kutturu-van'.

How to spot them and photograph:
These birds feed and perch on trees with fruits and seeds, like Mulberry, Jungle Jack (Anjili), Teak, papaya etc.
Since their color is green, it is difficult to spot them between the green leaves. So it is better to look them on Teak trees as their leaves are not so thick. All these pictures were taken when the bird was perched on  Teak branches. And in the first and third pictures, I got blue sky as the background as it was sitting on a remote branch - there was no distractions. Even though  the bird is active from dawn to dusk, it is better to look for them from morning 6 to 8 (on teak trees especially).
Planting such trees more will be helpful for these birds (not these bird alone, a lo of birds). These birds doesn't like rubber trees (from my observation) and I think cutting of native trees for rubber and other plantations has affected them. So the solution is to retain the native trees between plantations - don't vanish them completely from an area.

The bird makes a flapping sound while flying. Its flight is interesting. After a few flaps, it folds the wings and move swiftly like an arrow, again a few flaps to attain the lost momentum, again fold.. and so on (Sunbirds and other small birds also do this).

Species name: Megalaima viridis
Common Names: White Cheeked Barbet, Small Green Barbet
Malayalam Names:Pachilakkudukka (pachila-kudukka), Chinnakkutturuvan

Hope you liked this wonderful bird :)


  1. Good description good pictures...

  2. It's an unusual loking bird. It's strong beak looks as though it was created to open hard nuts instead of fruit and seeds! I had never heard of the White Cheeked Barbet until today.Lucky you to see it so frequently:)

    1. The strong beak is used for hollowing out the nest on suitable trees. I have an Elanji tree which is a an abode for this interesting Pachila kudukka. I have seen it digout a six inch deep nest in a few hours time with small heaps of the wood shavings lying below!

      I have seen it taking small fruits for the young ones. The same couple have returned for the third year to the same tree to make fresh nest.

  3. nice bird...


  4. Voor ons een hele aparte vogel maar wel heel mooi.

  5. Yep, it's found mostly in South India. Nice capture.

  6. Lovely captures. Which lens it is?

  7. Interesting info. I can recall their calls. And lovely shots, as always.

    I think the spring is almost here, i can see a lot of magpies!

  8. Wonderfully captured this white cheeked beauty!

  9. Lovely Capture and well described..

  10. Nice details and Great shots, Thanks for sharing...
    Ajeeth boaz

  11. Great to discover your blog! Its amazing to walk through nature's marvel through the pictures you post! Will keep an eye on this space! :) The lush greenery is beautiful!

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  12. Hi Abhinav,

    You've done a marvelous job at capturing the bird on lens from different perspectives and you've also gone ahead and given the description and its features as well.
    So, are you a bird enthusiast or do you cover wildlife as well?


    My Blog