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Saturday, 23 January 2010

The Tiniest Bird In The World

The tiniest bird in the world is called a Bee Hummingbird (Mellisuga helenae). It´s body is about the size of a ... that’s right, large bee. That converts to something like 1.8 grams and a little over 5 centimeters long. The male is known to be smaller than the female of the species. The Bee Hummingbird can be found in Cuba and Isla de la Juventude.

Bee Hummingbirds are very rapid and strong fliers; they can easily be mistaken by an insect. When flying, the wings of the Bee Hummingbird beat about 80 times per second, and during the courtship displays up to 200 times per second. They have the fewest feathers of all birds, which are round about 1.000 feathers. Other species of birds can have up to 25.000 feathers. The diet of the Bee Hummingbird consists mainly of nectar and an occasional spider or insect. In the space of one day, the Bee Hummingbird is capable of visiting up to 1500 flowers. These miniature creatures consume half their body mass and drink 8 times their body mass in water on a daily basis. Now that´s what I call eating and drinking!!!!
Bee Hummingbirds are solitary birds; they only accept each other’s company during the breeding phase. During the rest of the time, they are aggressively territorial; they protect their territories even against much bigger birds. The nest of the Bee Hummingbird is the tiniest of all birds, which is only about 3cm in diameter. The nest usually hosts two tiny eggs at a time which are smaller than two coffee beans. Bee Hummingbird eggs are also known as the world´s smallest bird eggs.

Once, the Bee Hummingbird used to be relatively common, but due to habitat destruction resulting from logging and clearing for farming, it is now amongst the numerous types of Hummingbirds that are classified on the endangered species list. But even today as these fascinating and beautiful creatures are protected, its numbers are, with great sadness, still decreasing.
Source: Wikipedia

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