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Biosphere, Fauna and Flora in Cuba Naturaleza
Cuba Naturaleza Biodiversity

Bee Hummingbird (Mellisuga helenae), the smallest bird in the world

Cuban Tody (Mellisuga helenae)
Scientific name: Mellisuga helenae
Common name (english): Bee Hummingbird
Common name (spanish): Zunzuncito

Bee Hummingbird ()Mellisuga helenae) the smallest bird in the world. Males of the bee hummingbird living on Cuba and on Isla de la Juventud, weigh 1,6g, and their length is 5,7cm, Half of length make a tail and a beak. Females are a bit larger.

They are very mobile, fervent and unaccomodating birds also they are extremely courageous in attacks on the larger birds, especially in period when they care of baby birds.

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

The maximum life expectancy of the hummingbird is 8 years. They eat every ten minutes.

The male has the pileum and fiery green throat, the iridescent gorget with elongated lateral plumes, bluish upper-parts, and the rest of the underparts mostly greyish white.

The female is green above, whitish below with white tips to the outer tail feathers. While more apt to be mistaken for a bee than a bird because of the size, the bird is not a mimic.

Female bee hummingbirds are bluish green with a pale gray underside. The tips of their tailfeathers have white spots. Breeding males have a pred to pink head, chin, and throat. Non-breeding males look like females, except that their wingtips have blue spots.

Cuba Naturaleza Biodiversity

© 2023 Nigel Hunt