Facts about storks

   Stork is the popular name for a family of birds, the Ciconiidae, allied to the herons and ibises. They are large birds, with long legs, half-webbed toes; the bill longer than the head, straight, strong, pointed, and without any groove; and the nostrils pierced longitudinally in the horny substance. The species are about 25 in number. The common white stork, Ciconia alba, or ciconia, a migratory native of the greater part of the Old World, is about 3½ feet in length. The head, neck, and whole body are pure white, the wings partly black, the bill and legs red. The neck is long and generally carried in an arched form; the feathers of the breast are long and pendulous, and the bird often has its bill half hidden among them. The stork frequents marshy places, feeding on eels and other fishes, amphibians, reptiles, young birds, and small mammals. It makes a rude nest of sticks and reeds on the tops of tall trees or ruins or disused chimneys. The stork has no voice. Its flight is powerful and very high in the air. Another species, the black stork, Ciconia nigra, somewhat smaller, the plumage of the upper parts glossy black. the under parts white, is also common in many parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa. The South American stork, Dissoura or Euxenura maguari, is very similar to the common stork. It is found on the pampas of Argentina, and where mice and frogs are abundant, hundreds of these birds will congregate.
   The only birds of this family occurring in North America are the wood ibises of the southern States and the jabiru. They are large birds, 3½ feet long, with the head and neck bare, wings and tail black, and rest area of plumage white. They are found in flocks and nest in colonies.