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Bee hummingbirds   (Mellisuga helenae)
Category: Birds



Bee hummingbirds (Mellisuga helenae), native to Cuba, weigh about as much as a dime and are about 2.5” long, eat their weight in nectar every day, and lay the smallest eggs of any bird. Like all hummingbirds, these amazing creatures have heartrates that can go over 1000 beats per minute and wings that can flap 80 or more times per second – yes, that’s per second. Bee hummingbirds are not “pets,” in that they are not domesticated, but with hummingbird feeders and specific flowers, they will respond to invitations to gather food on your property, a treat for the many people who enjoy watching, listening to, and caring for them. The bee hummingbird’s estimated life span is about 10 years, with documented lives of banded birds reaching 11 years.


Data & Facts

Scientific Classification
Kingdom - Animalia
Phylum - Chordata
Class - Aves
Order - Apodiformes
Family - Trochilidae
Genus - Mellisuga
Species - M. helenae

Did you know?
Interesting Animal Facts

A Truly Amazing Race…

Many species of birds migrate when the weather changes, but some species take their journeys to extremes. The Arctic tern tops this list: it flies from the Arctic to Antarctic and back again every year of its life! In 2013, scientists tracked Arctic terns nesting in the Netherlands and discovered that they flew 56,000 miles per year! With a lifespan of approximately 30 years, this means these birds fly over 1.5 million miles over the course of their lives! Because the distance they migrate is so enormous, they don’t just get better weather and more abundant food each year, they get more daylight than any other animal on the planet!

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