UCLA Assistant Researcher Bonds With Over 200 Hummingbirds Who Complain If Their Food Is Late

Melanie Barboni, an assistant researcher in the UCLA Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences program, has created a remarkable community of over 200 hummingbirds who mostly live outside her office and come in to complain if dinner is late or if they want attention.

Known around campus as the “Hummingbird Whisperer”, Barboni has bonded with these beautiful birds whom she could only read about as a child in Switzerland, where hummingbirds are all but non-existent.

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. …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.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.