Does this viral photo really show the world’s smallest bird?

This post was shared more than 37,000 times.
This post was shared more than 37,000 times.

The photo of the tiny, multi-coloured hummingbird perched on a stick has been shared more than 37,000 times online since October 30, with people incredulous at just how small it is. The post claims that the delicate little bird is a “Topaz Hummingbird, the smallest bird on earth”. But, in reality, this photo does not show the world’s tiniest bird. It’s actually a paper cut-out.

On social media, you can find lots of stunning images of nature – from natural phenomena to wild animals. You need to be careful, though. Some of these photos have been digitally altered while others don’t show real life animals – they show pieces of artwork, as in this case.

This photo, supposedly of a topaz hummingbird, was first posted online on October on a Facebook page called Observe. This page has close to 90,000 followers, who share articles about animals and the natural world. Many of these articles were first published on the website

Post translated from French: “Here is the Topaz Hummingbird, the smallest bird on earth”


The bird is actually made out of paper and was designed and crafted by artists in India. They published a photo of this miniature creation on their Instagram account, which is full of images of tiny birds.

They have more than 8,000 Instagram followers and some of their birds are for sale on the online boutique, Etsy.

If you do a simple reverse image search (click here to find out how), this photo pops up in a thread about paper arts and crafts on Deviantart, a platform used by artists. The maker of this paper bird even has their own page on Deviantart.

Topaz hummingbirds are a real type of hummingbird, but they are not the smallest birds on earth. That title goes to another type of hummingbird, the bee hummingbird, which measures just six centimetres. They live in Cuba.