Storks: That Enormous Bird That You Only Know From Cartoons

I realized that in all of the classic references to storks as a necessary part of the baby-delivery-pipeline, I have never thought to so much as try to find a picture of them. It turns out that they are pretty awesome.

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white-stork-with-lizard-prey

Some of the species are also quite beautiful:

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Fourteen species of stork reside in Asia and Africa, and three in Central and South America.

Interesting facts:

  • They are completely mute. They “clatter” (clack) their beaks to communicate.
  • A group of storks is referred to either a “muster” or a “phalanx” (yeah.. that phalanx).
  • The marabou stork, one of the Central/South American species, has the longest wingspan of any bird, together shared with an Andean condor: just under eleven feet. It’s also about eighteen pounds at its largest (the bald eagle tops out around fourteen).
  • Their nests are freaking enormous: They grow to six-feet in radius and ten feet deep.
  • Not unlike some people, they may abandon their mates and find alternative ones while they’re migrating.

What a cool bird. Speaking of neat family names (“muster”, “phalanx”), do you know what you call a group of jellyfish? A bloom, baby.

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Why? Because of their homage to the nuclear bomb:

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That was the white-spotted jellyfish.

Stork

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