The bee hummingbird, also know as the Zunzuncito, is the smallest bird in the world! If you asked yourself why the Zunzuncito, well, this beauty is not only slightly larger than a bee but produces a buzzy noise, too! However, there are so many features of this incredible creature that makes it so unique, such as the fact of its ability to fly up to 20 hours without a break!
Where can we find the bee hummingbird?
Native to the entire Cuban archipelago, our tiny friend is endemic to the main island of Cuba, and the Isla de la Juventud in the West Indies. And, when it comes to perfect habitat, it lives in the rainforest, dry rainforest, and forest edges with bushes and lianas. Yet, it can also be found in mountain valleys, swamplands, and gardens.
How does the bee hummingbird look?
For starters, very small, just a bit bigger than a bee! Yet, compared to other hummingbirds, which are slender, our friend is rounded and plump. However, the male has a green pileum and bright red throat with elongated lateral plumes. Additionally, the rest of the underparts are greyish-white, with bluish upperparts. Female, on the other hand, is bluish-green with a pale gray underside. Finally, as the world’s tiniest bird, it weighs only 0,092 oz with a length of 2,4 inches.
Naturally, like all hummingbirds, this one is also a herbivore. More precisely, a nectarivore, feeding on the nectar of different flowers. Thus, our friend has been observed to visit 10 plant species, nine of them native to Cuba. But, did you know it visits up to 1,500 flowers in one day? No wonder this hungry creature eats up to half of its weight in food!
Bee hummingbirds are polygynous, so they don’t form pairs. Thus, the breeding season occurs between March and June. Like the Scarlet ibis, male bee hummingbirds perform aerial displays and sing songs to attract females. However, the female builds the nest by herself, incubates the eggs, and raises her young. Therefore, she lays two eggs no bigger than peas and incubates them for 21-22 days. Although chicks are born naked and helpless, they become independent after only 18-38 days.
Did you know the bee hummingbirds have the second-fastest heartbeat among all animals? Their heart beats 1,200 times per minute!
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