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 🙂

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17 thoughts on “White Cheeked Barbet

  1. 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:)

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. The first time, I ever saw this bird was when I was a kid (around 9 years old then). The unique call intrigued me, more so because it was difficult to spot this little bird. It used to live in a hole on a large tree that produces seeds with cotton like fibers inside it that bursts open when dried up. One of my classmates told me that the bird was called Roller. Checking it on youtube, several years later revealed that the bird is not what I thought it was.

    Thanks! Now I know its real name and Malayalam name as well. Mystery demystified.


  5. Nice and informative. I looked up this bird because it has started visiting a very young tree in front of our villa….I only see it in the mornings but not everyday.It is beautiful. The tree is too young for it to nest. But thanks for all the info. Now I will be looking out to see which tree it chooses to nest

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