Storks are birds usually found in temperate climates and are not much cared about. Instead, they are famous for the phrase: as storks deliver babies. Storks are found in their habitual area, but some people are fascinated by the stories of stork delivery. This article covers the origins of this myth & what does it mean exactly.
1. What are Storks?
Stork is defined as birds that are big, high-legged, tall-necked with extended stout beaks. They are from the family of Ciconiidae and belong to the order of Ciconiiformes. (Also read 7 Chupacabra Animal Facts)
2. Species of Storks
There are living species of about nineteen storks. Different kinds of terms are used to define a group of storks, the most famously used ones are muster of storks and phalanx of storks. The very famous, 1884 album of pictures of storks by Ottomar Anschutz galvanized the look of Otto Lilienthal’s experimental gliders of the late nineteenth century. (Also read Oldest Living Species Alive Today)
3. Habitat & Diet of Storks
The order of Ciconiiformes once included families like herons and ibises. Storks reside in several regions, with a tendency to dwell in habitats that are drier than their early families of herons, spoonbills, and ibises. They have a very important form of communicating called Bill-clattering at the nest. Several species of storks are migratory. Most of them feed on toads, fish, insects, worms, and other little birds and mammals. (Also read Why Are Pink Dolphins Pink?)
4. Features of Storks
- Storks are significant looking birds, with wide wingspans having a wingspread of 3.2 m and weight up to 18 lbs, joining the Andean condor which has the widest wingspread of all living land birds.
- Their nests are typically massive and can be used for several years. Some nests are well-known to grow to over 2 meters in diameter and about 3 meters full.
- They have a tendency to soar and glide in order to preserve energy. Their soaring needs thermal air currents.
- All storks are thought to be monandrous. Storks’ massive size, monogamy, and quality to a long-time nesting nature contribute to their prominence in mythology and culture. (Also read What Does a Rabbit Symbolize?)
5. Origin and Myths of Storks Deliver Babies Phrase
The origin of the phrase stork delivery is not totally clear as it stands as a myth dating back a few years.
- The most popular use of stork delivery was in a film that dates back even before the end of World War II, a 1941 Disney film, titled Dumbo. Herein, the elephant with the same name with the inclusion of other animals was delivered by storks at a circus. (Also read Top 10 Ugliest Disney Characters)
- If the hole is dug deeper, there is folklore that depicts storks having different kinds of weapons and objects in the same place where they hold the babies. But the storks delivering a baby phrase is also heard of in a few places. This folklore is not only bound to North America but also Europe and the Middle East. (Also read Where is Turkey Situated?)
- One of the origin stories can be the mythical chapter from the history of Greece, in which a queen named Hera, turns another queen named Gerena into a stork due to her vengeful thirst and jealousy. Later, in order to retrieve her kid from the imprisonment of Hera, Gerena flew with her kid as a stork. This myth was later debunked by Warren Chadd who pointed out that the bird was a crane and not a stork. (Also read Debunking Witches Flying on Brooms)
- One form of myth comes from Egypt, they say that a stork represents the soul of the person, also termed as the ba. If the stork returns, it meant that the soul has also returned. This refers to the reincarnation of the soul as a probable possibility.
- Another story originated from Norse Mythology, where the representation of stork is about family values and love of commitment for one another. Again, being a myth, its origin is hard to trace back & confirm.
6. Meaning of Stork Delivery
Even though the history and the origin of stork delivery is still a mystery, people have concluded the various meaning and significance of storks delivering babies.
- It’s a symbol of a strongly bonded marital relationship. Although storks don’t intend to live with each other for a long time, they do return to the same nests to their partners and mate with them occasionally.
- Due to migration, they move from the northern part of Europe and fly towards the south. As they return to Europe during the month of March or April, they conceive around June and the baby stork is born nine months later. So it’s the best time to conceive a human child as well.
- There are some countries that believed that by placing a sweet at their windows and offering it to a stork, it was taken as a form of a symbol that they are ready to welcome a child.
- Storks are also believed to be connected with children as they build their nests on the roof of the people’s houses who are expecting a child. As a part of the life circle, storks take care of their young ones, the same way a human child is expected to take care of their parents during their old age. (Also read Adorable Golden Possum that Looks like Pikachu)