Science

Small Wonders Of The Wild With Wings: World’s Smallest Birds

Birds are one of the most unique and fascinating creatures present on the planet Earth. Birds come in different shapes, sizes and colors. They are synonymous with flight and wings. But usually, we talk about big birds which are easily visible to us like pigeons, sparrows, crows, parrots, eagles, vultures, etc as they are big enough to be seen in the sky too. But there are many important birds which go unnoticeable because of their very small size. We also refer to them as tiny birds.

A bird can measure from a few centimeters to a few meters long. In general the limelight is mostly focused on big giant birds instead of the tiny birds. But tiny birds are fascinating as they play a crucial role in food chains and webs. The world’s smallest bird is the Bee Hummingbird. So it’s important to know which are the common smallest birds in the world.

The top ten smallest birds in the world are as follows:

1. Bee Hummingbird {Mellisuga helenae} – World’s Smallest Birds

Image Source – ebird/Christoph Moning

The Title of the world’s smallest bird is given to the Bee Hummingbird. It is just 5 cm in length. Not only that it is the world’s lightest bird too with approx. 2 gms weight, along with the smallest nest in which it lays its eggs that are pea sized. They are native to Cuba, they are also known as Zunzuncito, an elf of the bees and bird-fly. But sadly they are becoming threatened species because of habitat loss.

2. Costa’s Hummingbird {Calypte costae}

Image Source – ebird/Gordon Karre

This bird has an average size of 8 cms and weighs around 3 grams. It is native to southwestern USA, desert habitats where it feeds on insects and nectar. It grabs the second position in the world’s smallest bird category.

3. Weebill {Smicronis brevirostris} – World’s Smallest Birds

Image Source – ebird/David Ongley

Its average weight is 6 grams and its average size is 8 cms. This bird is found in Australia. They eat insects and larvae. 

4. Goldcrest {Regulus regulus}

Image Source – ebird/Ian Davies

It is the smallest bird in Europe with an average length of 9 centimeters and weighs around 6 grams only. One of the interesting facts about Goldcrest is that it can lay up to 12 eggs at a time. Female goldcrest have distinct head markings with black and yellow color, whereas in males it is black and orange.

5. Simple Firecrest {Regulus ignicapilla}

Image Source – ebird/ Patrick J. Blake

Well, this bird belongs to the same family of goldcrest birds. It is very similar to goldcrest in appearance with a more yellowish tinge and a white fawn stripe above the eye. The average length is 9.3 centimeters and average weight is 5.5 grams.

6. Pardalote {Pardalotidae} – World’s Smallest Birds

Image Source – ebird/Mat Gilfedder

The average length of this bird is 9.5 centimeters with an average weight of 6 grams. It is a common bird of the Australian continent. 

7. Brown Gerygone {Gerygone mouki}

Image Source – ebird/ Brian Sullivan

Brown Gerygone is one of the smallest passerine birds in the world. It is a native bird of the east coast of Australia. They feed on flying insects that’s why they live on tree tops mainly. Their average length is about 10 centimeters with an average weight of 6 grams. They usually live in a group of 3-4 at various heights of the forest canopy.  

8. Verdin {Auriparus flaviceps}  

Image Source – ebird/Bryan Calk

It is one of the world’s smallest birds found in North America, Mexico and Southern USA, measures approximately 10 centimeters in length and weighs around 7 grams.  It is the only species in the genus Auriparus and the only representative of the old world family Remizidae to be found in North America. It is one of the smallest passerines in North America. They live in hot areas. They live in large nests which are globe shaped.

Also Read – Why Do Birds Chirp In The Twilight?

9. Golden-headed cisticola {Cisticola exiles} – World’s Smallest Birds

Image Source – ebird/ Mat Gilfedder

This bird bags the ninth position in the smallest birds of the world category. Also known as Bright-capped cisticola weighs around 8 grams and measures around 10 centimeters in length. They are also known as the “finest tailor of all birds” for their tidy nest made from plant and spider threads. They are found in South Asia and Australia.

10. Lesser Goldfinch {Spinus psaltria}

Image Source – ebird/ Sharif Uddin

This bird is the tenth smallest bird in the world with average length of 10 centimeters and an average weight of 10 grams. This bird is native to North America, the Bahamas and the Turk & Caicos Islands. It is a monogamous bird and lives in different latitudes with various habitats.

Birds are an integral part of the ecosystem without them the insects and other very small creatures will thrive unabashedly leading to crop destruction and diseases. The world’s smallest birds are one of the prime carriers for reproduction in plants in the wild. So you can imagine the importance and necessity of these small wonders of the wild. But with changing climate and deforestation by humans, many of them are becoming endangered species because of loss of their natural habitat.

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Sonia Solanki

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