The Zunzuncito of Cuba
The zunzuncito of Cuba (Mellisuga helenae - Helena hummingbird - Colibrí zunzuncito - Bee Hummingbird). This hummingbird is the pride of Cubans, it is found exclusively in this country. Once, it colonized all the island, but currently only 3 areas still shelter it:
  • in the western part of the island, in Humboldt Park
  • in the south, on the Isle of Youth and in the Matanzas area, 150 km from Havana, near the famous Bay of Pigs beach.
  • it is in this latter area, in the village of Palpita, in the heart of the Ciénaga de Zapata National Park that I was able to approach them.
I settled 2 days in Bernabé Fernández Ulloa’s house. The garden was visited by several Zunzuncitos. The Zunzuncito is the smallest hummingbird of the 356 known species, and also the smallest specimen of birds. Only 5 cm from the head to the tail for a weight of around 2 grams, lighter than a sugar cube. The male is smaller than the female and is differentiated by a very particular coloring.
His neck shift from dark to bright red. His throat is bright yellow, like golden pearl. The dorsal feathers are metallic blue. The Spanish name refers to the sound of its wings when it flies... A kind of little snoring.