Monday, 5 May 2014

We saw two Bee Hummingbirds (or Zunzuncito), the smallest living bird in the world

Click on photo to enlarge

During a walk in "Parque Nacional la Mensura" we were lucky enough to see this litter with two Bee Hummingbirds

The mother was absent so I could take some pictures but unfortunately only one picture was successful and a have a short movie

The Bee Hummingbird or Zunzuncito (Mellisuga helenae) is a species of hummingbird that is endemic to dense forests and woodland edges on the main island of Cuba

With a mass of approximately 0.056–0.071 oz and a length of 2.0–2.4 inch,
it`s the smallest living bird

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

The male is smaller than the female

The female is green above, whitish below with white tips to
the outer tail feathers

Compared to other small hummingbirds, which often have a slender appearance, the Bee Hummingbird looks rounded and chunky

Female bee hummingbirds are bluish green with a pale gray underside

The tips of their tailfeathers have white spots

Breeding males have a reddish to pink head, chin, and throat

The female lays only two eggs at a time

As the smallest bird in the world, it is no larger than a big insect and, as its name suggests, is scarcely larger than a bee

Like all hummingbirds, it is a swift, strong flier

It also can hover over one spot like a helicopter

The bee hummingbird beats its wings an estimated 80 times per second, so fast that the wings look like a blur to human eyes

The brilliant, iridescent colors of the bee hummingbird's feathers make the bird seem like a tiny jewel

The iridescence is not always noticeable, but depends on the angle at which a person looks at the bird

The bird's slender, pointed bill is adapted for probing deep into flowers

The bee hummingbird feeds mainly on nectar, and an occasional insect or spider, by moving its tongue rapidly in
and out of its mouth

A hummingbird in the flower of a mango tree

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

Using bits of cobwebs, bark, and lichen, the female bee hummingbird builds a cup-shaped nest that is only about 1 inch in diameter

Nests have been built on single clothespins

She lines the nest with soft plant fibers

In this nest she lays her eggs, which are no bigger than peas

She alone incubates the eggs and raises the young

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