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Q and A Banner - #3 (World Records-1)

Monday, June 18, 2012


You'll need your binoculars for this one! 

Pic source

The world's smallest bird is the Mellisuga helenae or zunzún, as it is known it's native Cuba. 
The Bee Hummingbird, as it is more commonly known, is about the size of a - you guessed it - a bee!  Well maybe just a touch bigger but that translates to 2.5 inches or 6.2 cm in length and 1.6 grams or 0.06 oz in weight.

 Like all hummingbirds, it is a swift, strong flier. It also can hover over one spot like a helicopter.

Pic source

Half of their length is made up of tail and beak.  Females are a bit larger.  They are very mobile, fervent and unaccomodating birds; also they are extremely courageous in attacks with the larger birds, especially during the period when they are in the care of their baby birds.

They fly extremely fast - up to 80 km/h.  80 swings in a second.  At rest, the heart of the hummingbird usually work with frequency of 500 beats per minute, and during physical activity of 1200 or more beats per minute.

The maximum life expectancy of the bee hummingbird is 8-10 years, depending on habitat. 

So, of course, it's only fitting that the smallest bird would also lay the world's smallest bird eggs - which are about the size of your smallest fingernail.

To maintain their high energy requirement, bee hummingbirds will eat half their total body mass and drink eight times their body mass every day.  They eat every ten minutes.  Their diet is mainly small insects and nectar.  They feed by moving their tongue rapidly in and out of their mouth. In the process of feeding, the bird picks up pollen on its bill and head. When it flies from flower to flower, it transfers the pollen. In this way, it plays an important role in plant reproduction. In the space of one day the bee hummingbird may visit 1,500 flowers.

1 comment:

  1. Damned that would have been my second guess, life ain't fair! :)


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