Around the University of California–Los Angeles campus, assistant researcher Melanie Barboni is known as a hummingbird whisperer.
On her first day on the job, she put up a hummingbird feeder outside her office window and is now visited daily by 200 birds. According to Barboni, the tiny, colorful creatures will let her hold them and see their nests. They’ll even “yell” at her if she doesn’t fill the feeder in a timely manner. Barboni recognizes at least 50 by names she’s given them. Her favorite is a female named Squeak, who flies in the window and sleeps on her computer when it’s cold outside.