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The Photographer Who’s Friends with Over 200 Hummingbirds

By day, Melanie Barboni is an assistant researcher at UCLA who studies volcanoes. But one of her nicknames is “The Hummingbird Whisperer,” and that’s because she’s an avid photographer who has become friends with a colony of over 200 hummingbirds.

After moving into her office in the geology building at UCLA, the first thing Barboni did was set up a hummingbird feeder outside her window. She has since set up three additional feeders, and in the 2.5 years that followed, the number of tiny birds that regularly visit to feed exploded to over 200 — and that number is still growing.

Every weekday, Barboni puts out the 80-ounce feeders filled with a custom nectar made from water and sugar. The hummingbirds will sit on her finger if she puts her hand out, and if she doesn’t put out the feeders on time the hummingbirds fly into her office to “yell” at her and remind her.

Here’s a 2-minute video by UCLA about Barboni and her love for the birds:

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November 2017
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