Storks – Legend

music: Hungarian Children’s Song

These Hungarian children are singing about a stork that’s been injured but is being healed by a children’s music. It’s just one of the many popular songs and fables inspired by a bird that holds a very special place in Hungarian legend — and for good reason. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

The white stork is actually black and white, with long red legs and a lengthy tapered red bill. White storks are one of the fifty different species of stork, and although they inhabit three continents, ninety percent of the white storks nest in Hungary — often right on someone’s roof or on the local church spire. Andras Schmidt, a Hungarian environmental official, says it’s no wonder the bird has a prominent place in Hungarian folklore.

“People living in villages, especially in past centuries, have always had much closer contact with nature than nowadays, and of course with any so conspicuous species people looked at the bird, watched the behavior and of course, a natural relation, a kind of friendship evolved between humans and the white storks.”

It’s an annual ritual in Hungary to welcome the storks back in the spring after their winter migration to Africa. And there’s never any doubt that they will come back.

“It is very interesting that the birds have a very good sense of orientation and they usually find their way right back to the same house and maybe even to the same garden. People always wondered where the white storks disappeared in winter and where they come from in spring. The mystery of migration was only clarified in this century. No doubt that in earlier centuries people really admired this bird for its interesting habit of disappearing in the winter.”

Pulse of the Planet is presented with support provided by the National Science Foundation.

music

Storks - Legend

The white stork is a revered creature in Hungary, a central figure in fable and folklore.
Air Date:05/30/2008
Scientist:
Transcript:

music: Hungarian Children's Song

These Hungarian children are singing about a stork that's been injured but is being healed by a children's music. It's just one of the many popular songs and fables inspired by a bird that holds a very special place in Hungarian legend -- and for good reason. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

The white stork is actually black and white, with long red legs and a lengthy tapered red bill. White storks are one of the fifty different species of stork, and although they inhabit three continents, ninety percent of the white storks nest in Hungary -- often right on someone's roof or on the local church spire. Andras Schmidt, a Hungarian environmental official, says it's no wonder the bird has a prominent place in Hungarian folklore.

"People living in villages, especially in past centuries, have always had much closer contact with nature than nowadays, and of course with any so conspicuous species people looked at the bird, watched the behavior and of course, a natural relation, a kind of friendship evolved between humans and the white storks."

It's an annual ritual in Hungary to welcome the storks back in the spring after their winter migration to Africa. And there's never any doubt that they will come back.

"It is very interesting that the birds have a very good sense of orientation and they usually find their way right back to the same house and maybe even to the same garden. People always wondered where the white storks disappeared in winter and where they come from in spring. The mystery of migration was only clarified in this century. No doubt that in earlier centuries people really admired this bird for its interesting habit of disappearing in the winter."

Pulse of the Planet is presented with support provided by the National Science Foundation.

music