White-cheeked Barbet Psilopogon viridis Scientific name definitions

Anand Krishnan
Version: 2.0 — Published January 29, 2021

Sounds and Vocal Behavior

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Sounds and Vocal Behavior

In all barbets, vocalization is an important part of territorial defense and pair interactions.


Vocal Array

The song begins with a loud introductory trill kurrrrrrrrrrrr of about 1-2 seconds' duration ( ), finally settling into a repetitive pu-kowt or pu-tarr (superficially similar to the kutroo of Brown-headed Barbet (Psilopogon zeylanicus), but higher pitched) ( ). Phrases are measured within 0.2-0.6s duration (vocalizations from Pune district measured between 0.22-0.35s- AK), with most of the energy above 1KHz (in Pune district, vocalizations range from 0.8-1.3KHz, with most energy between 0.9 and 1.2 KHz -AK). The song is highly variable in repetition rate ( ), from as little os a 0.5s gap between phrases to as high as 3s between phrases. Individuals vocalizing together (whether members of a pair or countersinging males is unclear) tend to sing at somewhat different frequencies and repetition rates ( ) within this range (2, 3, 13).


During aggressive encounters or in alarm, the call is often utter singly as a kuk-kuk or kot-kot. During interactions, switches to a faster version of the song, sometimes interspersed with trills. Also a soft, repeated kee-ah. Begging young produce a karr-karr sound. This note becomes louder in the presence of a parent (2). Finally, a cheen-cheen call is uttered immediately prior to copulation (14).


This species is highly vocal during the drier months of the year ( ), especially prior to nesting. In general, though, vocalizes throughout the year, its repetitive calls forming an important component of the soundscapes within its range (14, 2).

Daily Pattern of Vocalizing

Often vocalizes through the day, and even on moonlit nights.

Repertoire and Delivery of Songs

Three or more singers on adjacent territories frequently respond to each other by countersinging, resulting in a continuous, reverberating chorus of sound (1).

Nonvocal Sounds

No published information.

Recommended Citation

Krishnan, A. (2021). White-cheeked Barbet (Psilopogon viridis), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (T. S. Schulenberg and B. K. Keeney, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.whcbar1.02