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stork,common name for members of a family of long-legged wading birds. The storks are related to the herons and ibises and are found in most of the warmer parts of the world. Storks have long, broad, powerful wings; in flight they flap their wings or soar with their legs dangling and their long necks bent back in an S shape. They feed on fish, reptiles, amphibians, mollusks, and insects, which they catch with quick thrusts of their long, heavy bills. Having no syrinx muscles, storks are mute—though they produce a clattering noise by snapping their bills. The only storks found in the Americas are the American wood stork, Mycteria americana, previously known as the wood ibis, a white bird about 4 ft (122 cm) long with a glossy greenish-black tail, found in temperate and tropical regions; the jabiru, Jabiru mycteria, of the tropics, with a white-and-black body and naked black head; and the maguari stork, Ciconia maguari, of South America, with a white body, white-and-black wings, red legs, and red around the eyes and on the bill tip. In Europe the white stork, C. ciconia, c.40 in./100 cm long, with red bill and legs, is regarded as a good omen, particularly of fertility, and is encouraged to build its platform nest on housetops. It is common from Holland to the Balkans. The black stork of Eurasia, C. nigra, is smaller and wilder. Largest of the family are the saddle-billed stork of Africa and the adjutant storks of S Asia and tropical Africa, so named (despite their untidy head feathers) for their upright military bearing. One Indian species, called also marabou, has soft tail feathers used in millinery and once popular for making feather boas. Adjutant storks are valued and protected as scavengers. Storks are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
..... Click the link for more information. , subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Ciconiiformes, family Ciconiidae.
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Any of several species of long-legged wading birds in the family Ciconiidae.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. any large wading bird of the family Ciconiidae, chiefly of warm regions of the Old World, having very long legs and a long stout pointed bill, and typically having a white-and-black plumage: order Ciconiiformes
2. a variety of domestic fancy pigeon resembling the fairy swallow
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005