The Bee Hummingbird

Bee Hummingbird (Mellisuga helenae)

Length: 5.5–6.1cm (2.17–2.4")
Weight: 1.95–2.6g
Description: equipped with a straight, notably short, dull-black bill; male (♂): green cap and nape, iridescent, flaming red gorget adorned with extended, lateral plumes, bluish upperparts and greyish-white underparts; and female (♀): green upperparts, pale grey underparts, and white-tipped outer tail feathers.
Habitat: littoral forest, forest, forest edges, woodland, shrubbery, gardens, lowland, swampland, and sporadically in open country.
Range: This specie is a vagrant to The Bahamas [1], Haiti [2], and Jamaica, but is resident on Cuba and Isla de la Juventud (a smaller island to the south of the main island).
IUCN Status: Near Threatened

Note: The male bee hummingbird is recognized as the smallest bird in the world; and with its lumpy, rounded appearance, can be, at first, misidentified as a bee.

The bee hummingbird is more readily observed in forest with substantial growth of lianas and epiphytes. They have a preference for the showy flowers of the solandria grandiflora—a chalice vine.



Bee Hummingbird--The World's Smallest Bird

Works Cited

1BirdLife International. Mellisuga helenae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22688214A40528697. IUCN. [Online] 2012. [Cited: 10 19, 2016.]
2LACK, D. Ecological Isolation in Birds. Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1971.