Instagram | @aslam870

The Bee Hummingbird Is The Smallest, Cutest, Bird In The World

We all know hummingbirds are small and special, so it probably doesn't surprise anyone to learn that the smallest bird in the world is a member of that family.

But that doesn't mean we can't still be stunned by just how tiny these little creatures are. It's the sort of tiny that's hard to really visualize without a good comparison for scale.

How about a classic yellow pencil for scale?

Reddit | complexpigeons

I mean, it's no banana, but the color is right and the juxtaposition is mind-boggling.

It's so small!

One might even go so far as to call it smol.

It's pretty clear why these little guys are called "bee hummingbirds" now, right?

Instagram | @aslam870

They're also known as Helena hummingbirds, or zunzuncito, and are only found in Cuba.

Like many islands in the Caribbean and surrounding area, Cuba is home to two native hummingbird species, one small and one large — relatively-speaking, since all hummingbirds are small. The bee hummingbird's sibling is the emerald hummingbird, which is twice its size.

It's thought that this allows the two species to co-exist, since the smaller birds can live off the nectar of smaller plants.

Instagram | @journalofcesare, Robert Harding

Even so, the bee hummingbird's size is an anomaly.

Fully grown, their average weight is one-fifteenth of an ounce, which is less than an American dime.

Their nests aren't much bigger at about the circumference of a quarter.

Instagram | @hordygurdy

And what about the babies? Two eggs are the most common clutch size, with each egg being no larger than a coffee bean. Tiny and fragile, the female birds aggressively keep the males out of the area, since their bright, iridescent feathers would make the nest an easy target for predators.

h/t: WIRED, Audubon