Tiny Turbo-Bird

The world’s tiniest bird is as small as a bug — and it’s named after one, too. The bee hummingbird is just 2 inches long from beak to tail, about the same as a grown-up’s pinky. Its nest could fit on your thumb! This teeny tiny bird doesn’t look like a bee — it has shiny blue-green, gray, and pink feathers — but it does love flowers, drinking the “nectar” from the center through its skinny beak. Bee hummingbirds can visit 1,500 flowers in one day. That’s a lot of snacking!

Wee ones: Which is shorter, your 5-inch long hand or the 2-inch long bee hummingbird?

Little kids: If your hand is 5 inches long, how many full 2-inch hummingbirds can you fit end to end on your hand?  Bonus: Boy (male) hummingbirds have blue spots on their wings, while female birds (the girls) don’t. If in a flock there are 8 blue-spotted wings, how many male birds are there?

Big kids: Again, only male hummingbirds have blue spots on their wings. If out of 21 bee hummingbirds there are 12 blue-spotted wings, how many of the birds are female?  Bonus: Bee hummingbirds flap their wings 80 times per second — too fast for our eyes to see. If slower hummingbirds flap 20 times per second, how many times as often do bee hummingbirds flap?

Wee ones: The bird is shorter.

Little kids: Just 2 birds, since 3 birds would stretch 6 inches and hang over the edge.  Bonus: 4 birds.

Big kids: 15 girl birds, since the wings belong to 6 male birds.  Bonus: 4 times as often.

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