Smallest to Biggest


This week’s photo, taken May 17, 2015 in the Wenas area of Yakima County, WA, features a male CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD.

My fellow students and I are sad that our Master Birder class is concluding after many months of informative lectures, exciting field trips and lots of laughs. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever been so sorry to see a class draw to a close. The good news is that several of us will probably get together in the future to co-lead local bird walks.

This past weekend during our final Master Birder outing, the program ended in a big way – after a reminder that little things also count. First, the small stuff: in the mountains west of Yakima, we stumbled upon the incredibly tiny CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD. Later that afternoon, while we were driving through a rural area of Eastern Washington on our way back to Seattle, we passed a ranch where two OSTRICHES were lounging in a sizable fenced-in yard. So, in a span of 2 hours, we saw the smallest bird in North America, and then the largest bird in the world. (I strongly suspect the ostrich is not native to this continent).

I read it on the internet (therefore, it must be true) that a Calliope Hummingbird weighs one-tenth of an ounce, while an ostrich can weigh as much as 345 pounds. According to my calculation, that means it would take about 55,000 Calliope Hummingbirds to equal the weight of one Ostrich. If that sounds unbelievable to you – then do the math.



About Joe Sweeney

I photograph birds to share the beauty and wonder I find in nature.
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2 Responses to Smallest to Biggest

  1. Chris says:

    You can stuff 10 Calliopes into an envelope and mail them for 49 cents.

  2. kathydoremus says:

    I will count that as your rare hummingbird find since I have never even heard of it before! 🙂

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