Meet The Smallest Bird On Earth


The very smallest bird on Earth, the Bee Hummingbird. Barely larger than the bee it's named after, almost everything about this hummingbird is special.

Males measure 57 mm (2.24 in) in total length, half of which is taken up by the bill and tail, and weigh 1.6 g (0.056 oz) Females are slightly larger. This is believed to be the lowest weight limit for any warm blooded animal. (Guinness World Records)

They can beat their tiny wings an incredible 80 times a second. Their tiny size makes them tasty prey for snakes, birds, even spiders. Nothing about the Bee Hummingbird's life is easy. They may visit over a thousand flowers a day on their eternal quest for nectar.

The bee hummingbird, zunzuncito or Helena hummingbird live mostly in the country of Cuba, though they have also been seen in Jamaica and Haiti and are found in forests, swamps, valleys and gardens. (study.com)

The males are the showoffs of the family. Their dazzling head feathers usually irresistible to the less colorful females. But this lady's showing no interest. She has already mated. For her, it's nesting time. The whole nest is smaller than a golf ball. The mother will lay one or two eggs the size of coffee beans and then all she can do is wait. Three weeks must pass before she'll know if all is going to plan.


Three weeks have passed since the mother hummingbird laid her tiny eggs. It's a good year and two healthy chicks have hatched. Blind and helpless at birth the chicks grow explosively, doubling their weight in just four days.

Bee Hummingbirds are so scarce and their tiny nests so hard to find that this is a scene rarely, if ever, filmed before.

At times, hummingbirds can even fly upside down! Hummingbirds eat almost exclusively nectar and small insects such as gnats and spiders. (The Spruce)

Eighteen days after hatching the chicks have already grown their flight feathers. In just a couple of days, they will leave the nest for good and, with luck, live up to seven years.

A whole new chapter in the story of the world's smallest bird.

Transcript by: Nature on PBS.

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