Do you know that in the world of birds there are such crumbs that even a large beetle, which an ordinary woodpecker would gladly eat for dinner, will seem to them a monster? And they also flap their wings so often, flutter so gracefully among exotic flowers that they look more like tropical butterflies. Who is this? Of course, this is the smallest bird in the world - the hummingbird!
Who is the smallest in the hummingbird family?
In fact, not all hummingbirds are small. For example, a gigantic hummingbird with a sharp beak and variegated plumage reaches a length of almost 22 cm and weighs about 20 g. Among miniature birds, this is a heavyweight, although it is no larger than our swift. It can be found in South America.
But even this "giant" does not have the longest beak: in this it was overtaken by a sword-billed hummingbird, about 40% of the body length of which falls precisely on a long, curved, like a sharp sword, beak. Such a bizarre bird is found in moist highland forests from Venezuela to eastern Bolivia. The sword-billed hummingbird is inferior in size to the gigantic hummingbird, its height is about 17 cm, but it is not the smallest bird in the world.
Sword-billed hummingbirds are real "Buratino" of the bird world, but this does not prevent them from developing a high flight speed.
One of the tiniest hummingbirds in the family is the bee hummingbird. It can be confused with a butterfly due to its bright coloration and fast flapping of its miniature wings.
The baby is seven centimeters long and weighs only 2 grams. This wonderful creature feeds only on flower nectar, which it sucks out with the help of a long forked tongue and a thin beak, almost motionlessly hovering over the plants. At the same time, the bird flaps its wings so intensively that they become almost invisible.
Today, bee hummingbirds are found in rare places rich in epiphytic lianas. They are endemic - creatures that live only in certain areas, since they are demanding on strictly defined climatic conditions and flora. So, if you personally want to admire this most interesting creature, you will have to go to Cuba, where in the swamps of Zapata and on the island of Juventud, wonderful birds the size of a bumblebee flutter over outlandish flowers.
But the smallest representative of the hummingbird genus is rightfully considered a fly bird living in Jamaica and Haiti. Its weight is approximately 1.6 grams. Unlike other chirping relatives, the fly bird can sing. Its green and white iridescent plumage merges with the exotic green of the forests. Like many of her brothers, this baby feeds not only on nectar, but also on small insects found on flower petals.
Features of the smallest birds
- Despite their modest size, hummingbirds are some of the most quarrelsome and quarrelsome birds in the world. During the mating season and when breeding chicks, they are so desperate that they attack birds much larger than themselves and put them to flight. There are also "family dramas" when a female hummingbird can fight back the male by hitting him with a powerful beak.
- The male hummingbird can be distinguished from the female by its more striking plumage. On its feathers bright, "festive" colors shimmer, and against the background of these beauties, the females look dull and everyday.
- None of the birds in the world can fly "backwards", but hummingbirds can - both forward and backward and sideways. Such a funny feature distinguishes them from their fellows and helps to be more maneuverable, which is very important, since these birds develop incredible speeds in flight - up to 80 km / h.
- When hummingbirds are calm, their heart beats about 500 per minute, and when they move, their number increases to 1200!
- The hummingbird is the most voracious bird on the planet. She can drink 120 times in 16 hours and eat more food than her own weight!
It turns out that being a small bird and being a defenseless creature are not the same thing at all. The hummingbird family is proof of this..