Friday, September 25, 2009

Crane Express (people really believed this)

I doubt anyone remembers this story from the turn of the century, about a group of small songbirds who need help crossing the Mediterranean and end up riding on the backs of cranes. (Bird Lore recommends the story as the basis for a "chalk talk" on "Bird Day").

The amazing thing about the story is the number of people during this time that honestly thought it was true. That hundreds of little birds hop on the backs of cranes during migration. This New York Times article (1881) cites a Dr. Van Lennep as an eyewitness to this event. (To be honest, I was disappointed when I learned it was a myth).

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