I just returned from leading a tour in Cuba, where my group had the opportunity to see the world’s smallest bird, the bee hummingbird. As its name suggests, this miniscule flier is scarcely bigger than a bumblebee. Its Spanish name, zunzuncito, captures something of the whirring of its tiny wings as it darts through the air or hovers over flowers to suck nectar.
The bee hummingbird is endemic to Cuba, meaning it is found nowhere else. We saw it in the Ciénaga de Zapata (Zapata Swamp), a large wetland area that is home to many bird species, including 17 of Cuba’s 20 endemics, as well as 65 species of migrants.
This particular male bee hummingbird was very obliging to our group of photographers, lingering unconcernedly around a flowering tree as we snapped away with our cameras.