The Bee Hummingbird is the smallest bird in the world. It is often mistaken for an insect because of its tiny size! They are not much bigger than bees, hence their name.
Amazing Facts About the Bee Hummingbird
- The Bee Hummingbird is the smallest bird in the world.
- These little guys are native to Cuba.
- They beat their wings an astonishing 80 times per second, which is so fast that the motion is imperceptible to the human eye!
- During courtship displays, the bee hummingbird’s wings can beat up to an incredible 200 times per second.
- The Bee Hummingbird is capable of flying at speeds of 25-30 mph, and up to 20 hours without a break.
- Its average heart rate reaches 1,260 beats per minute which makes bee hummingbird’s heart rate the fastest in the world.
- Its breathing rate is also very high. They have been recorded breathing at rest at a rate of 250 breaths per minute!
- This tiny creature has amazing agility when flying, being able to fly straight up, down, backwards and even upside down!
- One Bee Hummingbird may help pollinate up to 1,500 flowers in a typical day of feeding.
- They spend 15% of their time eating.
- They feed mostly on nectar but do also eat insects.
- The males of the species are territorial, and would establish their own feeding territory. Other males, and even nectar-feeding insects like hawk moths and bumble bees, attempting to feed in their territories, are aggressively chased.
- The females and non-breeding males are a pale grey or white colour with a bluish-green upper plumage. The breeding male is a greyish white with blue upper plumage and bright pink or red feathers on his head and around his neck.
- Each day, an individual can consume up to half its body mass in food and 8 times its body mass in water.
- A tiny bird comes with a tiny nest – The Bee Hummingbird’s nest takes up no more than a square inch of space and is made predominantly from lichen, bark and even little scraps of cobweb.
- A nesting bee hummingbird lays eggs the size of a green pea.
- The tiny bee hummingbirds are often mistaken for insects because of their tiny size. They are not much bigger than bees, hence their name.
Picture Credit: Charlesjsharp (Wiki Commons User)
- Type: Bird
- Diet: Omnivore - primarily nectar and insects
- Lifespan: up to 7 years
- Size: no more than 2.5 inches long (5-6 cm)
- Weight: 0.056 to 0.067 ounces (1.6-1.9 g)
- Scientific name: Melissuga helenae
- Habitat: Endemic to Cuba, interior and coastal forests, swampy areas, mountain valleys, manmade gardens