The Smallest Bird

Photo by Iskánder Vigoa Pérez.

The Smallest Bird: Bee Hummingbird (Mellisuga helenae)

This species of hummingbird endemic to Cuba is the world's smallest species of bird. They are between 5 and 6 cm long and weigh between 1.2 and 2 grams- comparable to the weight of a paperclip or dime. The bee hummingbird's main food source is nectar; they can hover over a flower consuming nectar with wings beating at an estimated 80 beats per second. In comparison to other species of hummingbirds, the bee hummingbird is said to appear as short and stumpy. The reason for the rating of Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List is the fact that it's already small population is decreasing at a relatively moderate rate as a result of forest loss

Bird / Bird


Follow mongabay kids on Twitter

All about Rainforests


  • May I use graphics from mongabay.com for my projects? Yes, you may provided that you don't remove the mongabay label from the images. You may use information from the site for class projects and can cite kids.mongabay.com as the source.
  • Is this web site credible? Mongabay is the world's most popular source for information on tropical forests. The site is highly acclaimed by a number of the world's leading tropical scientists and is run independently, meaning it is has no affiliation with advocacy groups or outside corporations. Rhett Butler, who founded Mongabay in 1999 and runs the site today, has published several scientific papers.
  • Can I interview the founder of mongabay.com for my school project? Unfortunately due to the large number of requests and the need to work on the main Mongabay site, Rhett is not available for interviews. However he has answered some common questions on the Rainforest Interview page.
  • Do you have any games or activities? Currently there are a few on the resources page. There may be more in the future.
  • Who are some scientists who study rainforests? Take a look at the Interviews with rainforest experts page.
  • How can I help save rainforests? Some ideas are listed on the Rainforest Solutions page.
  • Where can I learn more about rainforests? There is a wealth of information at the main rainforest site

  • home | teacher resources | rainforest books for kids | other languages | about the site | main rainforest site | help support the site | search | contact

    kids.mongabay.com is published under a creative commons license.

    ©2004-2011 mongabay.com