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World’s Smallest Bird Lays Its Eggs in a Nest the Size of a Quarter

Only slightly larger that the insect it’s named after, the Bee Hummingbird weighs no more than two grams and lays eggs roughly the size of coffee beans. It is officially the world’s tiniest bird.

Found only in Cuba, the Bee Hummingbird is extremely small even for a hummingbird, so much so that people often mistake it for an actual bee when they see it hovering over flowers. But this tiny flier not only looks like an insect, it also competes against them for resources. It is the result of a phenomenon scientists call “island dwarfism”, where certain species have problems competing against larger species for resources, so they get smaller and smaller over evolutionary time to avoid running out of food and start competing against other categories of organisms.

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UCLA Researcher Grows Colony of 200-Plus Hummingbirds Outside Her Office

Melanie Barboni, an assistant researcher at UCLA’s Earth, Planetary and Space Science department, is known as an expert in geology and volcanic activity among her colleagues, but those who haven’t worked with her before know her only as the “hummingbird whisperer”. She has always been fascinated by the tiny birds, and after moving to Los Angeles, she has nurtured a colony of over 200 hummingbirds right outside her office window.

Growing up in Switzerland, a country with an almost non-existent population of hummingbirds, Melanie Barboni admired the colorful birds in books, but dreamed of one day seeing them up close, so when she learned that her next job assignment would lead her to Los Angeles, California, where hummingbirds live all year round, she was overjoyed. She has spent the two years since developing a colony of 200-plus hummingbirds right outside her office window, by hanging four nectar-filled feeders for them. Melanie has gotten so close to her hummingbirds that she “cannot go to a place where they are not there”.

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Every Day This Nice Old Man Is Visited by a Wild Hummingbird

Every day, 83-year-old Joao Silvestrini has the most unusual visitor – a hummingbird! It flies in and out of the kitchen window of his Brazil home several times a day, stopping for a chirpy chat and a drink of sugar water.

The story of the unusual friendship between man and bird has become popular on Facebook, after Joao filmed the bird and posted the video online, last month. The footage shows the tiny bird flying around Joao’s head and waiting patiently until he offers it the daily dose of sugar sweetened water.

Joao is a bachelor and a retired ornithologist; he wakes up at 5.30 every morning to open the kitchen window and wait for his little friend. Before long, the bird arrives in search of water and continues the routine several times during the day. “When he wants water, he is flying around me, he will not let me use the computer,” Joao laughed.

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