The Stork
the younger storks sometimes carry the old ones on their wings when they have old
people have said so; but if it is, I am sure it is a beautiful example for every child, The
stork is about a yard long from its head to the end of the tail; its color is white,
excepting some of the great quill feathers, which are black. Its nest is large and flat,
and made mostly of sticks; the eggs are about as large as those of a goose, and a It
does not sing; the only noise it makes is by striking one part of its bill upon the other.
While it is sleeping it stands on one leg, with its neck bent backward, and its head
resting between its shoulders. The Jews were forbidden by God to use the stork for
food; perhaps this was because it lives upon such animals as frogs, fishes and
serpents.
The stork is a bird of passage; it spends the summer in Holland and other countries in
the north of Europe, but flies to a warmer climate before cold weather comes. They
seem to have a kind of agreement among themselves about starting on these long
journeys; and for a fort-night before they are ready, they may be seen collecting in
great numbers-then all take to their wings at once. This explains a verse in the eighty
chapter of Jeremiah, "The stork in the heavens knoweth her appointed times;" that is,
her times of going to a warmer climate or returning.
After the winter has gone, the storks fly back to their summer home, and very often
take their old nests again. In Europe, these are generally made on the tops of houses
or old chimneys, and the birds are so gentle and harmless that the people never
disturb them, but are glad to see them come back. In some countries the roofs of the
houses are flat, and the people walk and sleep on them; in these places the storks
often build their nest on the flat branches of some spreading tree. In the 104th Psalm
we read, "As for the stork, the fir-trees are her house."