STORK (Heb. חֲסִידָה, ḥasidah). The stork, the Ciconia ciconia, has been identified with the ḥasidah, enumerated among birds forbidden as food (Deut. 14:18). According to the Talmud it derives its name ("the kindly") from the fact that it shows kindness to its fellows (Ḥul. 63a), a reference to the harmony of a flight of storks. These flights pass over Israel in the autumn and spring during their migrations to and from northern and southern countries. Jeremiah (8:7) notes that the bird has fixed times of migration. Small flights of the young birds remain in Israel during the summer, but the stork does not hatch its eggs in Israel and the verse "as for the stork the juniper trees [Heb. beroshim ] are its house" (Ps. 104:17) refers to the stork's hatching its eggs on the *juniper trees in Lebanon. Although this identification of the ḥasidah can be taken as certain, it should be noted that some commentators took it to refer to a different bird, with the result that in certain localities in Spain the stork was mistakenly permitted by Jews as food. Generally however, the stork is regarded as an unclean bird (Beit Yosef to Tur, yd 92).
R. Meinertzhagen, Nicoll's Birds of Egypt, 2 (1930), 430–2; F.S. Bodenheimer, Ha-Ḥai be-Arẓot ha-Mikra, 2 vols. (1949–56), index, s.v.ḥasidah; J. Feliks, Animal World of the Bible (1962), 83.
stork / stôrk/ • n. a tall long-legged wading bird (family Ciconiidae) with a long heavy bill and typically with white and black plumage, esp. the European white stork (Ciconia ciconia), which often nests on tall buildings. ∎ the white stork as the pretended bringer of babies.