Meet Melanie Barboni, an assistant researcher in the UCLA Earth, Planetary and Space Science program, who is also known as the ‘hummingbird whisperer’. She built a community of 200 hummingbirds who live outside her office and come to complain if she’s late to serve their dinner.
Barboni has always been a bit obsessed with hummingbirds – even when she was a child in Switzerland, a country with an almost non-existant population of this species. “My dearest dream as a child was to see hummingbirds. Imagine my joy when I found out that my next job assignment would bring me to Los Angeles, where hummingbirds live year-round,” says Barboni.
The woman adds: “I cannot go to a place where they are not there… This is cheesy, but I have seen them help people. They make my life happy. Having a crappy day? Who cares — there are hummingbirds around… Having a good day? Hummingbirds make it better…”