Family Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Near Threatened

Bee Hummingbird (Mellisuga helenae)


Taxonomy

French: Colibri d’Elena German: Bienenelfe Spanish: Colibrí zunzuncito
Taxonomy:

Orthorhynchus helenæ

Lembeye

, 1850,

Cárdenas, Cuba

.

Often placed in genus Calypte. Monotypic.

Distribution:

Cuba and I of Pines.

Descriptive notes

5–6 cm; 1·6–2·6 g. Male is the smallest of all birds. Bill is straight and dull black; male has head and throat fiery red, and iridescent gorget... read more

Voice

Song a mixture of high-pitched warbling phrases and a very high-pitched, drawn-out, sizzling buzzy... read more

Habitat

Woodland, swampland, shrubbery and gardens; occasionally in fairly open country, but generally... read more

Food and feeding

Nectar of Aloe, Laguncularia, Goethea, Hibiscus, Malvaviscus, Leucaena, Hamelia... read more

Breeding

Mar–Jun. Nest is generally situated c. 3·5 m (3–5) above the ground on a thin twig, typically of Bucida buceras... read more

Movements

No reliable information available. Presumably sedentary as a rule, though recorded as vagrant to... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. CITES II. Currently considered Near Threatened. Population clearly in decline, presumably as a result of habitat loss, as species seems heavily... read more

Recommended citation

Chai, P., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2017). Bee Hummingbird (Mellisuga helenae). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from http://www.hbw.com/node/55653 on 20 September 2017).