Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Stork
STORK, in ornithology, any individual of the genus Ciconia, or of the sub-family Ciconiinæ. In form the storks resemble the herons, but are more robust, and have larger bills, shorter toes, with a non-serrated claw on the middle toe. They inhabit the vicinity of marshes and rivers, where they find an abundant supply of food, consisting of frogs, lizards, fishes, and even young birds. Storks are migratory, arriving from the S. at their breeding haunts in the early spring, and departing again in the autumn. The white or house stork, C. alba, which is common in many countries of Central Europe, constructs a large nest, most frequently on the chimney of a cottage. The plumage is dirty white, the quills and the longest feathers on the wing covers black; beak and feet red. The male is about 42 inches long, the female somewhat less. The black stork, C. nigra, from the center and E. of Europe, Asia, and Africa, has the upper surface black, the lower parts white. Storks are protected by laws in some countries for their services in destroying small mammals and reptiles, and in consuming offal. The wood-ibis, a sub-genus, is found in waters of our Southern States. Heralds have adopted the stork as an emblem of piety and gratitude.