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White Cheeked Barbet or Small Green Barbet | by AntoGros
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White Cheeked Barbet or Small Green Barbet

The White-cheeked Barbet or Small Green Barbet (Megalaima Viridis) is a species of barbet found in southern India. It is very similar to the more widespread Brown-headed Barbet (or Large Green Barbet) (Megalaima zeylanica) but this species has a distinctive supercilium and a broad white cheek stripe below the eye and is endemic to the forest areas of the Western Ghats and adjoining hills. Like all other Asian barbets they are mainly frugivorous although they may sometimes eat insects and they use their bills to excavate nest cavities in trees.

 

Like many other barbets of Asia, these are green, sit still and perch upright making them difficult to spot. During the breeding season which begins at the start of summer their calls become loud and constant especially in the mornings. The call, a monotonous Kot-roo ... Kotroo... starting with an explosive trrr .

 

The head is brownish streaked with white, sometimes giving it a capped appearance. The bill is pale pinkish. The length is 165-185mm, head of 51-53mm and tail of 60-67mm. Size varies from the larger northern birds to the southern ones.

 

These birds are mostly frugivorous, but will take winged termites and other insects opportunistically. They feed on the fruits of various Ficus species. These barbets are arboreal and will rarely visit the ground. They obtain most of the water they need from their fruit diet. When water is available in a tree hole, they will sometimes drink and bathe.

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Taken on April 14, 2012