[Three Hundred Animals Contents]
THE neck, head, breast, and belly of this bird are white, the rump and exterior feathers of the wings black; the eye-lids naked; the tail white and the legs long, slender, and of a reddish colour. Storks are birds of passage, as it is supposed, although we cannot yet ascertain where they migrate. When leaving Europe, they assemble together on some particular day, and all take their flight at night. This is a fact, but what remains to be explained is, by what instinct or means, they are convoked together. As they feed on frogs, lizards, serpents, and other noxious creatures, it is not to be expected that man should be inimical to them, and therefore they have been generally and at all times a favourite with the nations they frequent. The ancient Egyptians paid to them, in the species of the Ibis, divine honours; and the Dutch have laws against destroying them. They are therefore very common in that country, and build their nests and rear their young on the tops of houses and chimneys in the middle of the most frequented and populous cities. The Stork resembles much the Crane in his conformation, but appears somewhat more corpulent in the body. The former lays four eggs, whereas the other lays but two.