Thursday, April 10, 2008

White-cheeked Barbet

White-cheeked Barbet (Megalaima viridis) is also known in India as the Small Green Barbet, is very similar to the Brown-headed Barbet (or Large Green Barbet), but this species is endemic to the forest areas of southern India and has distinctive supercilium and broader white stripe below the eye. They also lack the orange eye ring of the other species.
The call, a monotonous 'Kot-roo ... Kotroo...' is very similar to that of the Brown-headed Barbet. During hot afternoons, they also call with a single note 'wut' not unlike the call of Collared Scops Owl.
These birds are mostly frugivorous, but also feed on termites and other insects. They feed on the fruits of various Ficus species including Ficus benjamina and Ficus mysorensis, and other introduced fruit trees such as Muntingia calabura. While foraging they are quite aggressive and will attempt to chase other barbets, Koels and other frugivores.
They nest and roost in tree hollows which they carve out with their strong bills. They usually use large vertical trunk portions of trees. Favoured nest trees in urban areas include Gulmohur Delonix regia and African Tulip Spathodea campanulata.

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