STORK, Oiconia, a genus r birds of the, same family (ardeicks) with herons and bit terns; large birds; with long legs, four-toed, the three front toes welbed to the first joint; the tail short; the wings large; the bill longer than the head, straight, strong, pointed, andWithout any groove, the nostrils pierced longitudinally in the horny sub stance; the eyes surrounded by naked skin. The species are not numerous, but they are of very wide geographic distribution. The COMMON STORE, or WHITE STORE (U. elba), is a native of the greater part of the Old World, a migratory bird, its range extend ing even to the northern parts of Scandinavia. It is common in most parts of Europe. It is about 34 ft. in length. The head, neck, and whole body are pure white; the wings partly black; the bill and legs red. The neck is long, and generally carried in au arched form; the feathers of the breast are long and pendulous, and the bird often has its bill half hidden among them. The stork frequents marshy places, feeding on eels and other fishes, batrachians, reptiles, young birds, and small mammals. It makes a rude nest of sticks, reeds, etc., on the tops of tall trees, or of ruins, spires, or houses. In many parts of Europe, especially in Holland,-it is a very common practice to place boxes for storks, and It is considered a fortunate thing for a household that the box on the roof is occu pied.. Storks are protected by law in some countries, on account of their good services
not only in destroying reptiles and other troublesome animals, but in the removal of offal from the streets of towns, in which they stalk about with_ perfect confidence, even in the midst of throngs of people. They have been celebrated from,ancicnt times for the affectinn which they display toward their young; and have also had the repwation not so well founded—of showing great regard to their aged parents. Befcae they take their departure from.their summer haunts, they congregate in large flocks, which make a great noise by the clattering of their mandibles, and are popularly regarded as holding consultation. The stork has no voice. Its flight is powerful, and very high in the air. It is a very rare bird in Britain, and was so even when the fens of England were undrained. The flesh of the stork is rank, and not fit for food.—Another species, the BI.ACK STORK (C. nigra), rather smaller, the plumage of the upper parts glossy biack, the under parts white, is also common in many parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa.—The AMERICAN STORK (C. maquari) is very similar to the common stork.