“Then I raised my eyes and looked, and there were two women, coming with the wind in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork, and they lifted up the basket between earth and heaven.” (Zechariah 5:9 NKJV)“Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD.” (Jeremiah 8:7 KJV)
“Where the birds make their nests; The stork has her home in the fir trees.” (Psalms 104:17 NKJV)
Wow! While searching through the index of this blog, I realized that the “Sunday Inspiration” was started in January of 2014. I had no idea it has been that long ago. Also, I realized that we are just about back to where it began. Over the last three and a half years, you have been exposed to almost every family of birds in the world. They were randomly produced, then the Taxonomic order was begun with the Passerines, Singing and Perching Birds. It was finished up and then we started through taxonomically several months ago. Do you have any idea of the numbers of avian wonders that you have have been exposed to? Neither do I. :)
Currently, there are 10,681 species named with I.O.C., plus all the subspecies. I trust as you have seen their photos and listened to Christian music in the background, that it has been more pleasant than looking through guide books. :)
All of this has been said to let you know that if the “Sunday Inspiration” starts skipping over certain families, then it was already covered. The links to the skipped over ones will be listed. Most of you, like me, probably had no idea of what order the birds are listed in. We have all been learning as we have produced these Inspirations in order.
Storks are members of the Ciconiidae family and the only family in the Ciconiiformes Order. Storks are large to very large waterbirds. They range in size from the marabou, which stands 152 cm (60 in) tall and can weigh 8.9 kg (20 lb) the Abdim’s stork, which is only 75 cm (30 in) high and only weighs 1.3 kg (2.9 lb). Their shape is superficially similar to the herons, with long legs and necks, but they are heavier-set. There is some sexual dimorphism (differences between males and females) in size, with males being up to 15% bigger than females in some species (for example the saddle-billed stork), but almost no difference in appearance. The only difference is in the colour of the iris of the two species in the genus Ephippiorhynchus.
The bills of the storks are large to very large, and vary considerably between the genera. The shape of the bills is linked to the diet of the different species. The large bills of the Ciconia storks are the least specialised. Larger are the massive and slightly upturned bills of the Ephippiorhynchus and the jabiru. These have evolved to hunt for fish in shallow water. Larger still are the massive daggers of the two adjutants and marabou (Leptoptilos), which are used to feed on carrion and in defence against other scavengers, as well as for taking other prey. The long, ibis-like downcurved bills of the Mycteria storks have sensitive tips that allow them to detect prey by touch (tactilocation) where cloudy conditions would not allow them to see it. The most specialised bills of any storks are those of the two openbills (Anastomus.), which as their name suggested is open in the middle when their bill is closed.
“Even the stork in the heavens Knows her appointed times; And the turtledove, the swift, and the swallow Observe the time of their coming. But My people do not know the judgment of the LORD.” (Jeremiah 8:7 NKJV)
The storks vary in their tendency towards migration. Temperate species like the white stork, black stork and Oriental stork undertake long annual migrations in the winter. The routes taken by these species have developed to avoid long distance travel across water, and from Europe, this usually means flying across the Straits of Gibraltar or east across the Bosphorus and through Israel and the Sinai. Studies of young birds denied the chance to travel with others of their species have shown that these routes are at least partially learnt, rather than being innate as they are in passerine migrants. Migrating black storks are split between those that make stopovers on the migration between Europe and their wintering grounds in Africa, and those that don’t.
The Abdim’s stork is another migrant, albeit one that migrates within the tropics. It breeds in northern Africa, from Senegal to the Red Sea, during the wet season, and then migrates to Southern Africa. Many species that aren’t regular migrants will still make smaller movements if circumstances require it; others may migrate over part of their range. This can also include regular commutes from nesting sites to feeding areas. Wood storks have been observed feeding 130 km (81 mi) from their colony. [Information from Wikipedia, with editing.]
The birds in Taxonomic order are listed here: IOC World Bird List
“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39 KJV)
Dan and I were out birdwatching this last week several times. We have the privilege of seeing the Wood Storks quite frequently. The Birds of the Bible – Stork and the Birds of the Bible – Stork II articles have covered different aspects of the Stork. This time, the Bible passage in Job 39:13 is going to be covered.
The wings of the ostrich wave proudly, But are her wings and pinions like the kindly stork’s? (Job 39:13 NKJV)
The idea of the verse is that the Ostrich waves or flaps her wings proudly, but she lacks several things that the Stork has like the feathers and wings of a stork and nor the care for her young as the Stork show its young.
God has created them both, but they do not behave the same. Each has it’s own design and place to fill.
What is interesting is the different translations of Job 39:13. I use the e-Sword Bible program and have loaded every one of the free (English) Bibles and also have the New American Standard Bible and New King James Versions installed, which we purchased. One of the neat things you can do is select a verse and then choose “Compare” and every one of the Bible versions of that verse shows. It never ceases to amaze me that the versions can vary some times so much. This is one of those verses. (If you haven’t tried out the e-Sword Bible, it is worth loading and using and it is free for most of it. They also have the Bible in different languages.)
For now, I am going to show some of the versions that show the Stork:
(Brenton) The peacock has a beautiful wing: if the stork and the ostrich conceive, it is worthy of notice,
(Darby) The wing of the ostrich beats joyously–But is it the stork’s pinion and plumage?
(ERV) “An ostrich gets excited and flaps its wings, but it cannot fly. Its wings and feathers are not like the wings of a stork.
(GNB) How fast the wings of an ostrich beat! But no ostrich can fly like a stork.
(JPS) The wing of the ostrich beateth joyously; but are her pinions and feathers the kindly stork’s?
(LITV) The wing of the ostriches flap joyously, though not like the stork’s pinions for flight.
(MKJV) The wing of the ostrich beats joyously; though not like the stork’s pinions for flight.
(NKJV) “The wings of the ostrich wave proudly, But are her wings and pinions like the kindly stork’s?
Some of the other versions either mention a hawk, heron, or just the pinion and plumage of love. Ostriches are known for abandoning their young (Job 39:13-18 Birds of the Bible – Ostrich I) and the Storks are protective of their young (Stork II). The Ostriches don’t fly particularly, but the Storks have great wings and migrate good distances (Stork II).
Here are some facts about the Storks wings from various books and internet sites:
“Stork’s wings are built in a way, which allows them to take advantage of the streams of upward moving air. They are long and, compared to other birds, very wide – similar to these of vultures, condors, pelicans and the closest relatives of storks. Large wings of a stork “catch” the up going streams of air. Storks travel like gliders, taking advantage of the air movement.”
“Storks tend to use soaring, gliding flight, which conserves energy. Soaring requires thermal air currents. Ottomar Anschütz’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: the Marabou Stork, with a wingspan of 3.2 m (10.5 ft), joins the Andean Condor in having the widest wingspan of all living land birds.” (Wikipedia)
“White Storks rely on the uplift of air thermals for long distance flight, taking great advantage of them during annual migrations between Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa. The shortest route south would take them over the Mediterranean, but since thermals only form over land, storks take a detour and avoid long water crossings. It has been estimated that storks metabolize the same amount of body fat to travel a distance in flapping flight as 23 times further by soaring, so they usually avoid prolonged wing flapping flight. Long flights over water may occasionally be undertaken. ”
To facilitate the sea crossing, birds from central Europe can take an eastern migration corridor, crossing the straits of Bosphorus to Turkey, traversing the Levant, and then bypassing the Sahara Desert by following the Nile, or follow a western route over the straits of Gibraltar. These corridors maximize the help from the thermals and thus save energy. The eastern route is by far the more important, with 530,000 birds taking this crossing, making this stork the second commonest migrant after the Honey Buzzard. The flocks of raptors, storks and Great White Pelicans can stretch for 200 km (125 mi). The eastern route is twice as long as the western, but storks take the same time to reach the wintering grounds by either route. Juvenile storks set of on their first southward migration in an inherited direction, but if displaced from that bearing by weather conditions, they are unable to compensate, and may end up in a new wintering location. Adults can compensate for strong winds and adjust their direction to finish at their normal winter sites, because they are familiar with the location. For the same reason, all spring migrants, even those from displaced wintering locations, can find their way back to the traditional breeding sites. Once in Africa, the storks spend the winter in savanna from Kenya and Uganda south to the Cape Province of South Africa. In these areas they congregate in large flocks which may reach a thousand individuals or more.” (Wikipedia)
(From Matthew Henry’s Commentary) – “Job 39:13-18
The ostrich is a wonderful animal, a very large bird, but it never flies. Some have called it a winged camel. God here gives an account of it, and observes,
I. Something that it has in common with the peacock, that is, beautiful feathers (Job_39:13): Gavest thou proud wings unto the peacocks? so some read it. Fine feathers make proud birds. The peacock is an emblem of pride; when he struts, and shows his fine feathers, Solomon in all his glory is not arrayed like him. The ostrich too has goodly feathers, and yet is a foolish bird; for wisdom does not always go along with beauty and gaiety. Other birds do not envy the peacock or the ostrich their gaudy colours, nor complain for want of them; why then should we repine if we see others wear better clothes than we can afford to wear? God gives his gifts variously, and those gifts are not always the most valuable that make the finest show. Who would not rather have the voice of the nightingale than the tail of the peacock, the eye of the eagle and her soaring wing, and the natural affection of the stork, than the beautiful wings and feathers of the ostrich, which can never rise above the earth, and is without natural affection?