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Featherweight

Lightweights – small little birds

For a long time I have been fascinated by large birds like ravens and birds of prey (and I still am, don’t get me wrong), however recently I have been loosing myself following small little lightweights through the woods. This has given me the motivation to read about small birds and surprisingly the lightest bird in Europa is only about 4-6g „heavy“. Can you imagine how delicate they are with such a low weight? Speaking of which – all weight information comes straight out of wikipedia and is referring to average weight adult animals. On the photography side, all shots have been taken handheld in sometimes pretty poor condition with the Nikon 500m f/4 in combination with a D750.

Goldcrest – 5.5g

So here it is, the lightest bird of Europe – the beautiful and amazing little Goldcrest (Reglus reguls). With it’s 5.5g (average) a true lightweight.

Nikon D750 500mm f/4.0 | 500mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO 1600
Nikon D750 500mm f/4.0 | 500mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO 1600
Nikon D750 500mm f/4.0 | 500mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO 1600

Firecrest 5.6g

Much heavier (5.6g) – ok maybe not that much – but a little bit more colorful (here still in winter plumage) the Common firecrest (Regulus ignicapilla). You may notice the yellow nape as well as (the most significant difference as most people would say) its eye stripe. I always hear people saying that Firecrest have sunglasses on.

Nikon D750 500mm f/4.0 | 500mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO 1600
Nikon D750 500mm f/4.0 | 500mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO 1600

Short-toed tree creeper – 8.2g

Another small little creature is the beautiful Short-toed tree creeper (Certhia brachydactyla) with approx. 8.2g. Sorry for the poor picture quality but there was zero light available and shooting handheld with the 500mm lens on such small target I couldn’t go lower with shutter speed no more. I could have pushed ISO but with these darkish background, the noise is just killing it all.

Nikon D750 500mm f/4.0 | 500mm, f/5, 1/1600, ISO 2000
Nikon D750 500mm f/4.0 | 500mm, f/4, 1/1000, ISO 100

Long-tailed tit – 8.6g

Not sure who’s next in line but for sure these two guys are small ones as well
I would assume that there a quite a few small birds in line but I don’t have pictures from them, so I continue with what I have. And here it is, ladies and gentlemen, the Long-tailed tit (Aegithalos caudatus) with 8.6g. Long-tailed tits do not belong to the tit family (Paridae) but belong to the Long-tailed tits family (Aegithalidae).

Nikon D750 500mm f/4.0 | 500mm, f/8, 1/2500, ISO 1600
Nikon D750 500mm f/4.0 | 500mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO 1600
Nikon D750 500mm f/4.0 | 500mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO 1000
Nikon D750 500mm f/4.0 | 500mm, f/5.6, 1/3200, ISO 2000

Eurasien treecreeper – 9.1g

Another featherweight little guy is the Eurasian treecreeper (Certhia famillaris) with 9.1g. If you compare the picture with the ones from the Short-toed treecreeper you barley see a difference and in fact it can be quite tricky. I usually go by the beak or the claws. Here a good article on the difference in the two bird species.

Nikon D750 500mm f/4.0 | 500mm, f/8, 1/2500, ISO 600

Eurasian wren – 9.1g

Hand in hand with the Eurasian treecreper comes the Eurasian wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) with equally 9.1g 9.1g fight weight.

Nikon D750 500mm f/4.0 | 500mm, f/4.5, 1/1000, ISO 3200

World smallest bird – 1.9g

I hope you had fun looking at the small little bridies from Europa but you might wonder – who’s the smallest one on planet earth. Well, I don’t have a picture myself, but you can check it out here, the Bee hummingbird (Mellisuga helenae) with 1.9g!!

Let me know your thoughts

I hope this article was helpful for you. If there is anything you are looking for, please let me know and I try to find examples to discuss.

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