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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.

[Jehuda Feliks]

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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.

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storkauk, baulk, Bork, caulk (US calk), chalk, cork, dork, Dundalk, Falk, fork, gawk, hawk, Hawke, nork, orc, outwalk, pork, squawk, stalk, stork, talk, torc, torque, walk, york •pitchfork • nighthawk • goshawk •mohawk • sparrowhawk • tomahawk •back talk • peptalk • beanstalk •sweet-talk • crosstalk • small talk •smooth-talk • catwalk • jaywalk •cakewalk • space walk •sheep walk, sleepwalk •skywalk • sidewalk • crosswalk •boardwalk • rope-walk

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stork the white stork is traditionally known as the bringer of children, and other legends associate the bird as a bringer of luck to houses where it nests.

In Aesop's fable of Jupiter and the frogs who asked for a king, King Stork is the harsh ruler who replaces the inert King Log.

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stork Long-legged wading bird that lives along rivers, lakes, and marshes in temperate and tropical regions, often nesting in colonies in trees. Usually black, white and grey, storks have straight bills, long necks, robust bodies and long broad wings. They are diurnal and feed on small animals and sometimes carrion. Length: 0.8–1.5m (2.5–5ft). Family Ciconiidae.

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stork tall white wading bird. OE. storc = OS. (Du.) stork, OHG. stor(a)h (G. storch), ON. storkr :- Gmc. *sturkaz, prob. f. *sturk- *sterk- (see STARK), the name being supposed to refer to the bird's rigid habit.

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