“My name is István Konyhás. When I was a child I used to spend my summer holidays with my brothers in Puszta.
I would like to watch birds chirping around campsites, which is the way we learn environmental education in Hungary. I use to go there as much as possible. There, I love meeting an old shepherd who tell me about the nature, the animals and their behavior.
My favorite bird is a Hungarian crane named Daru (Grus Grus) and that’s why I’m one of the founders of the local crane migration research group.
This is an international project. One of my brothers is working now in a European life project about another bird called Otis Tarda. Another one is living in Finland because the cranes (grus grus) nest there. The cranes used to nest in Hungary but now they just rest here during their migration in autumn.
Photography is my hobby. When I was 16 years old I meet a cameraman who was working for the national TV and I became his guide in Hortobágy in the Puszta. The cameraman told me that if I wanted to be a good cameraman I would have to be a good photographer before. Then, I decided to do it. I worked as photographer ever since I was 10 years old, in photo reporting and journalism. In the future I would like to work for the national daily news in the future. And also, I would like to found a photo agency and be able to publish a series of articles in a magazine.
Photography is my life and it’s full of unforgettable memories. I was the first winner in Europe of a Photography competition held among all countries in the world.
NATURE PROTECTION AND CONSERVATION
One of my other passion is nature conservation and nature protection. I worked as an activist campaigning about environmental issues and I helped to solve some local environmental problems. My first published book was about Hortobágy, the second one about horses and the third one about different spots in the Puszta area.
I used to be a volunteer in a bird hospital but now I am in the advisory board in the bird hospital foundation since many years. Dr. János Deri invited me to be the director assistant of the bird hospital and the Bird Park. So, I could put all my knowledge to their service.
My memorable story about a Puszta is when I met one of the shepherds after 20 years. I was introduced to him as a polite guest, and the shepherd said he remembered me coming with my brother on one bicycle. I was very happy to hear that after 20 years he still remembered me.”