Interesting Facts about Bee Hummingbirds

Avid birdwatchers enjoy spotting a rare bird species or one that has unique characteristics. The hummingbird is one of those species that not everyone has the good fortune to observe. That’s because this tiny little creature is a native of the island of Cuba. The bee is reportedly the world’s smallest bird.

Physical Characteristics of the Bee Hummingbird

Hummingbirds by nature are tiny creatures when compared to other birds; however, the Bee is much smaller than its fellow hummingbirds. The bee hummingbird species is so small that it gets its name from the bee. Spotting one of these small hummingbirds can be a challenge, because when in flight it can beat its wings 80 times per second. When it is time to mate, the tiny bird’s wingbeats increase to 200 per second.

This miniature bird measures around two and one-fourth inches long and weighs less than two grams–about the weight of two regular paper clips or a dime. One can only imagine how this tiny hummingbird survives with various predators that exist in its habitat because it is small enough to be mistaken for an insect. The nest of the bee hummingbird is about an inch across which is cozy and perfect for the coffee bean or pea-size eggs the female lays.

Male and females have distinctive features that set them apart; however, it might be difficult to distinguish between the sexes at a distance since they are so tiny. The female birds are usually light grey or white with bluish-green plumage on the upper body. The female’s tail feathers are white. Males have black tail feathers and pinkish-red coloring on the head, chin and throat area.

The Bee Hummingbird’s Habitat

This tiniest of the hummingbird species lives in specific areas in Cuba. Two of the best places for birdwatchers to catch a glimpse of one of these tiny birds are on the Guanahacabibes Peninsula on the far western part of the island and near the Zapata Swamp in the east. Bee Hummingbirds compete with insects for food, but they also dine on insects. The Bee Hummingbird prefers areas where plenty of nectar-filled flowers grow. Their diet consists mostly of nectar. Along the edges of forests where flowering vines thrive are places where Bees like to use their nectar gathering skills. Bee Hummingbirds can eat up to half their body weight in food. They are beneficial creatures since they pollinate several hundred flowers each day.

Mating Habits

The males of this species have a strange way of attracting females for mating. The males congregate in groups and perform by “singing” to attract females. When males are successful in attracting available females for mating, the singing group disbands with some males moving on without a mate.

The Future of the Species

Like any species, the future of the Bee Hummingbird rests largely on maintaining hospitable environments, which provide both nourishment and safety. If the places where Bee Hummingbirds live and thrive are cleared for farmland or other development, most likely this tiny species could become endangered.

Hummingbird Feeder Selection Tips

Hummingbirds are quite fascinating creatures. The birds have unique characteristics in the animal kingdom that make them stand out from the rest. They have beautiful feathers and making a nice sound when they flap their wings. The tiny birds are a pleasure to watch and definitely are very nice birds to keep around the home. Hummingbirds are quite frequent feeders, feeding about four times every hour. This is why they need special care to be able to sustain their feeding needs. There are many types of feeders for these birds in the market. There are a few key things that you need to consider when getting the best hummingbird feeders. They are discussed here.


Hummingbird Feeder


When selecting a good hummingbird feeder, you need to consider the ease of maintenance – especially cleaning. Contamination can lead to diseases and should be avoided at all costs. Easy to clean feeders should have fewer and easily accessible parts. The feeder should also be easily refillable so that you can keep enough feed at all times. Accessibility is also key and the feeder should have open parts that are convenient to the birds. Most good feeders have enough storage to hold feed that can last the whole day. Always make sure there is no sticky nectar around the feeder.


Hummingbirds are attracted to flowers since they feed on nectar. It is therefore important to have aspects that reflect this reality on the feeders. A good feeder should be brightly colored to draw these birds into the feed. You can be able to purchase ready-made feeders that are brightly colored from stores. You can also customize the feeders by yourself by adding flower heads on the specific feeder. You will be able to see a lot more birds being drawn to the feeder when it is decorated sufficiently.


While not much is needed in terms of securing the feeder, other guards need to be put in place for the best experience. Ants in particular are drawn by the sweet nectar and can pose a great challenge to the birds. Dealing with ants requires a special attention to the feeder where special guards can be put to lock out the ants. Moat can also be used on the surface or base to collect any ants making their way to the nectar. Other ways of keeping away threats like bees include constantly relocating the feeder or hanging the feeders in a solitary position.

Hummingbird feeders are generally easy to maintain as they do not require sophisticated methods of cleaning. To keep the feeding environment healthy, it is important to clean and refill the feeders every day. Thorough cleaning using a bleach can be done once a month to remove any residual waste. Scrubbing sufficiently with a brush will get rid of any dirt that has accumulated on the feeder. Flying insects like bees and wasps can be prevented by keeping the feeder clean and without splashes of nectar. These key things are the only important tips to consider when choosing the best feeder for hummingbirds.

Hummingbird Food Recipes – – learn how to make your own hummingbird food.