Interesting Facts About the Smallest Bird in the World

Have you ever looked at different-sized birds, like pigeons and sparrows, or eagles and parrots, and wandered: who are the biggest birds in the world? Well, we’ve already covered that in this article: Biggest Living And Flying Birds in the World. But another question that one might ask, is who are the smallest birds in the world? Well, we are going to answer just that with this Interesting Facts About the Smallest Bird in the World article.

Bee Hummingbird

The smallest bird in the world is the tiny bee hummingbird.

Size

Ok, just how small are they?

These birds are not much bigger than bees that they are named after.

Bee hummingbirds are very special for many reasons and one of them is that their females are larger than males. Average female weighs about 2.6 g or 0.092 oz and is 6.1 cm or 2.4 in long. Average male weighs about 1.95 g or 0.069 oz and is 5.5 cm or 2.2 inches long.

Here’s an interesting fact regarding the size of their eggs – they are just as big as green peas.

They are so small, that they are often mistaken for insects, as there are many insects that are as big or bigger than bee hummingbirds. They’re actually only slightly bigger than bees, that they are named after.

Origin

Where do they live in?

Bee hummingbird live in entire Cuban archipelago – the main island of Cuba and the Isla de la Juventud in the West Indies.

Diet

What do bee hummingbirds eat?

They mostly eat nectar from at least 10 different plants (9 of them native to Cuba). But they are also known to eat certain insects and spiders, usually very small. Some spiders actually hunt bee hummingbirds. On a regular day, bee hummingbirds consume about half of their bodyweight in food. In fact, in a single day, an average bee hummingbird can pollinate up to 1500 different flowers, while extracting their nectar.

Appearance

How do they look?

A breeding male bee hummingbird.

While the most notable aspect of bee hummingbirds’ appearance is their size, they also have other pretty distinct physical traits.

Females and non-breeding males are a pale grey or white color with blue and green colors on their upper feathers. The biggest difference is that females have white tips of their tails, while males have black tips. Breeding males are the most distinct ones. Their head, chin and throat feathers turn into pink and red colors.

Speed

How fast can they fly?

These tiny birds hold many speed records in nature.

Now here’s something truly phenomenal – these tiny birds can fly at the speeds of 40–48 km/h or 25–30 mph.

They beat their wings 80 times per second and are able to fly forward, backward, side to side and even upside down. Incredible speed and agility! But it get’s even better, when courting females, breeding males can beat their wings up to 200 times per second!

While resting, they take 250 breaths per minute.

They also have the second fastest heart rate of any recorded animal on Earth, next to Asian Shrew. Their heart rate can reach an astonishing 1200 beats per minute.

Lifespan

How long do the smallest birds in the world live?

Bee hummingbirds have an average lifespan of 7 years in the wild and 10 years in captivity.

Other interesting Facts

These little birdies just don’t stop astonishing us.

  • They can fly up to 20 hours without a single break.
  • These birds can spend 15 percent of their lives eating.
  • Along with consuming half of their bodyweight in food, they also, on average, consume 8 times their bodyweight in water – in a single day.
  • Not only are they and their eggs tiny, but so are their nests. Their nests are often only 2.5 to 5 cm or 1 to 2 inches in diameter. Their also often set up in tiny places, like ends of branches and tips of clothespins.

Conclusion

Bee hummingbirds are known mainly for being the smallest birds in the world, but there is so much more to them than meets the eye. They are incredibly small, fast and beautiful. I hope that you’ve learned something new when it comes to interesting facts about the smallest bird in the world.

If you’d like to learn more about bee hummingbirds, here’s a link to a different website.

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