Meet the smallest bird species in the world

February 16, 2016, 8 a.m.

If you're curious about which is the smallest bird species in the world, well you're looking at it. The bee hummingbird is found in a handful of places in Cuba.

According to Beauty of Birds, "Bee hummingbirds are the smallest known living birds in the world - being comparable in size to bumble bees and are lighter than a Canadian or U.S. penny. Females are slightly larger than males. They measure mostly between 1.97 - 2.36 inches or 5 - 6 cm in length - including beak and tail; and they weigh between 0.06 - 0.07 oz or 1.6 - 1.9 g. Compare this to the largest hummingbird is the giant hummingbird of South America, which is 8 inches or 20 cm long and weighs around 0.70 ounces (20 grams)."

Like other species of hummingbird, they can beat their wings incredibly fast, as much as 80 wingbeats per second. Per second! And during courtship displays they can pull off 200 wingbeats per second. What does it take to keep up that kind of activity level? Well according to ARKive, "The bee hummingbird eats up to half its body mass in food each day, and consumes up to 8 times its body mass in water."

They have to stay busy in order to stay busy!

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Jaymi Heimbuch is a writer and photographer at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.