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AppleSnack: Kindhearted Mountain Man Ties Fruit To Winter Trees So Birds Don’t Starve

A Turkish climber ensures wildlife will survive the cold by leaving them food. He has been doing this service for 20 years.

A man known as the “Lonely Mountaineer” feeds the birds every winter by tying apples to tree branches while he hikes in the mountains of Turkey.

Hasan Hüseyin Kahrıman, who lives in the town of Balcilar, on the northern slopes of the Taurus Mountains in Konya Province, Turkey, has been doing his good deed for 20 years. It began when he “witnessed the death of a flock of birds from hunger and cold during heavy snowfall on a mountain on a winter’s day.”

“They froze, falling on the snow and resting their heads on each other’s bodies. I collected some of them and heated them in my hut, and they came to their senses. I fed them with bread crumbs. After a day, the weather cleared, and I returned them to nature,” he said in an interview.

Hasan Hüseyin Kahrıman has a mission: saving the birds from starvation in winter. He has been hanging apples on trees in the mountains in Konya, Turkey, for nearly 20 years. (Hasan Hüseyin Kahrıman/Zenger)
Known as the ‘Lonely Mountaineer’, Hasan Hüseyin Kahrıman has been feeding the birds by hanging the apples on tree branches in the mountains in Konya, Turkey for nearly 20 years. (Hasan Hüseyin Kahrıman/Zenger)

“Saving lives has given me so much happiness. I used to hunt, and I stopped hunting. I thought I had to do something to keep animals alive.”

Kahrıman was dubbed the “Lonely Mountaineer” by locals because of his frequent climbs up the Taurus Mountains, located in the Mediterranean region of Turkey. He often shares photos of his outings on Instagram.

Kahrıman said: “I’m not a bird expert, I just love keeping animals alive. I had to do something for the birds, because they are the most affected by the snow in winter.”

He said: “What I did had to be natural. Sometimes in the winter, I saw a few apples were left on the trees and some birds would eat them. However, when the weather got too cold, those apples would fall to the ground and be covered with snow.

Birds in the Taurus Mountains of Turkey are fed each winter by Hasan Hüseyin Kahrıman, known for hanging apples on trees. Now, others are joining his efforts. (Hasan Hüseyin Kahrıman/Zenger)
Hasan Hüseyin Kahrıman, who for nearly 20 years has been hanging apples on trees to feed the birds during winter, has inspired others to feed the feathered friends as well. (Hasan Hüseyin Kahrıman/Zenger)

“I thought I had found the solution, and I decided to put apples on the trees. That’s when I started doing this.”

Kahrıman said the number of birds has increased noticeably in places where he has put apples on tree branches. He said: “Where the birds felt safe in the winter, they built nests in the spring.

“Feeding the birds in winter is extremely important for their future. In some years, the birds starve to death. Birds play an important role in the balance of nature. I believe the working mechanism of nature would collapse without birds. And I want studies to be done for the birds to live.”

Kahrıman said he has received a positive reaction to his endeavors. In fact, others have joined his efforts. “Many people, especially children, have started to put apples on the trees.”

Edited by Fern Siegel and Kristen Butler

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