Backyard Birds

Bee Hummingbirds: Interesting Facts about the Smallest Living Birds

Interesting Facts about the Bee Hummingbirds


  • The Bee Hummingbird only measures about 2 inches or 5 cm in length and weighs between 0.06 – 0.07 oz (1.8 – 2 g) – which is less than the weight of a Canadian or US penny — because of this it is often referred to as the “Penny Hummingbird.” The Bee Hummingbird is, therefore, the smallest and lightest known living bird in the world. Because of its small size, it is often mistaken for a honey bee, which lead to its common name.
    The “Smallest Bird” In the World Controversy


    • The bee hummingbirds flap their wings around eighty times per second; or even 200 times per minute during the male’s courtship display,
    • Bee hummingbirds can fly up to twenty hours nonstop.
    • Flight speed: This species is capable of flying at speeds of 25 to 30 MPH or even faster during their territorial chases and dives.

Heart Rate

  • Bee hummingbirds have a spectacularly fast heart rate of up to 1,200 times per minute – it is the second fastest heart rate ever recorded in any animal (second only to the Asian shrew)


  • Bee hummingbirds have fewer feathers than any other bird (which makes sense since they are the smallest birds on earth with less “skin surface”)


  • Lifespan: Bee hummingbirds can live up to 7 years in the wild and up to 10 years in captivity.

Hummingbird Resources


Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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