The word 'stork' derives
from the Heb. hasidah, meaning "kindness,"
indicating thus the character of the bird, which is
noted for its affection for its young.
Storks are harbingers of spring and enemies of
snakes. The Stork Christian Symbol represents
holiness and vigilance and is symbolic of the
Annunciation to Mary that she would bear the Christ
The Easton Bible Dictionary provides the following
definition, meaning and emblem for the Stork
Christian Symbol in the Bible.
It is like the crane, but larger in size. Two
species are found in Palestine, the white, which are
dispersed in pairs over the whole country; and the
black, which live in marshy places and in great
flocks. They migrate to Palestine periodically
(about the 22nd of March). Jeremiah alludes to this
(Jer. 8:7). At the appointed time they return with
unerring sagacity to their old haunts, and re-occupy
their old nests.
In Job 39:13 (A.V.), instead of the expression "or
wings and feathers unto the ostrich" (marg., "the
feathers of the stork and ostrich"), the Revised
Version has "are her pinions and feathers kindly"
The object of this somewhat obscure verse seems to
be to point out a contrast between the stork, as
distinguished for her affection for her young, and
the ostrich, as distinguished for her indifference.
Zechariah (5:9) alludes to the beauty and power of
the stork's wings.
It is in the list of birds forbidden to be eaten by
the Levitical law (Lev. 11:19; Deut. 14:18).