Birds of the Bible – Stork II

Wood Storks in Top of Tree by Lee

Wood Storks in Top of Tree by Lee

Yesterday, Dan and I went out to the Circle B Bar Reserve for some birdwatchng. I think I would have to call it, “Stork Day.” From our photos, I have counted well over 100 Wood Storks and that doesn’t count the ones we didn’t photograph. It is time to find out some more about the stork.

From the first Birds of the Bible – Stork article,we found out that the stork is on the unclean list of birds that were not to be eaten by the Israelites. (Leviticus 11:19 and Deuteronomy 14:18). Jeremiah 8:7, tells of “her appointed times” (migration) and Zechariah 5:9 mentions the “wings of a stork.”

Psalms is going to provide our thoughts for today.

The trees of the LORD are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted; Where the birds make their nests: as for the stork, the fir trees are her house. (Psalms 104:16-17)

 The Whole Tree

The Whole Tree

As you can tell from the photos, the storks like to hang out in the trees. The trees were loaded with them. We were out there recently (September 18th) and I did not see any on that visit. Jeremiah was correct, “Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times;” Migration has been underway and these are either resting while on their trip or they are going to be here for the winter.

“Storks (family Ciconiidae) make their nests of sticks, reeds and grass, in tall trees. When the chicks hatch, their thin, featherless skin is extremely vulnerable to the direct rays of the sun. The parent bird has two responses to the high temperature problem — if water is nearby, the stork fills its large beak, returns to the nest, and douses the tiny chicks with cooling water. If this is not sufficient, the parent then performs a most remarkable feat — it stands over the young and spreads its large wings over the entire nest, thus shading the chicks from the sun’s rays! Often it will do this for hours at a time.” from “Birdbrains?” at Answers in Genesis

Storks Shadowing Baby in Lakeland by Dan

Storks Shadowing Baby in Lakeland by Dan

When the Lord created the Stork, the knowledge to protect their babies was put in them. Our God and Savior has promised to meet our needs. If He cares about the birds, how much more does he care about us?

“Storks are large, long-legged, long-necked wading birds with long stout bills, belonging to the family Ciconiidae. They occur in most of the warmer regions of the world and tend to live in drier habitats than the related herons, spoonbills and ibises; they also lack the powder down that those groups use to clean off fish slime. Storks have no syrinx and are mute, giving no bird call; bill-clattering is an important mode of stork communication at the nest. Many species are migratory. Most storks eat frogs, fish, insects, earthworms, and small birds or mammals. There are 19 living species of storks in six genera.

Storks tend to use soaring, gliding flight, which conserves energy. Soaring requires thermal air currents. Ottomar Ansch??tz’s famous 1884 album of photographs of storks inspired the design of Otto Lilienthal’s experimental gliders of the late 19th century. Storks are heavy with wide wingspans, and the Marabou Stork, with a wingspan of 3.2 m (10.5 feet), shares the distinction of “longest wingspan of any land bird” with the Andean Condor.

Their nests are often very large and may be used for many years. Some have been known to grow to over 2 m (6 feet) in diameter and about 3 m (10 feet) in depth. Storks were once thought to be monogamous, but this is only true to a limited extent. They may change mates after migrations, and migrate without them. They tend to be attached to nests as much as partners.

Storks’ size, serial monogamy, and faithfulness to an established nesting site contribute to their prominence in mythology and culture.

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