Do you know which is the tiniest bird in the world?

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New Delhi: While taking a walk in nearby gardens or enjoying a safari in national parks or wildlife sanctuaries, you must have witnessed several avian species. Some species are so large that they can be identified from afar; others are too small that you need to get closer to identify them. Mostly, you need a special gadget, well known as binocular, to get closer to small birds. As we are talking about birds, do you know which is the tiniest bird on our planet? Well, if you are aware of the answer, you have a genius mind. If not, no need to worry. It is the bee hummingbird, which holds the credit for being the smallest avian species on the planet.

Facts to know about the world’s smallest bird

Where to witness them: The bee hummingbird is scientifically known as Mellisuga helenae. Belonging to the family Trochilidae, this tiniest bird is native to Cuba. This cute and beautiful bird can be witnessed on the main island and Isla de la Juventud, the second-largest Cuban island and the seventh-largest island in the West Indies.

What do they eat: This smallest bird species feeds on nectar, which they collect from the colourful flowers. The bird has a needle-like beak that help them to suck nectar from flowers. It is noted that they collect their food from ten plant species, of which nine are native to Cuba.

Size and weight: The bee hummingbird is often mistaken for a bumblebee. With an average length of 55 mm and a weight of 1.95 gram, the male bee hummingbird is smaller than the female one, which measures around 61 mm from beak to tail and weigh 2.6 gram. The average weight of a male bee hummingbird is considered to be the lowest weight limit for any warm-blooded animal species.

Different from other humming birds: Bee hummingbirds have rounded tails and narrow wings. Their wings and tails are plumper and more rounded as compared to other humming birds which tend to be fairly elongated. They have straight and short beaks that help them to suck nectar from flowers.

Identification: While the male bee humming birds have metallic blue-green upperparts with dark flight feathers and rectrices, the female bee hummingbirds have pale grey underparts and iridescent green upperparts. Teh females have white tips on the outer rectrices that separate it from the non-breeding male.

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