Ancient Egyptian bestiary: Storks and flamingoes
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Storks and flamingoes
Stork, 12th dynasty
White Storks which breed in Europe migrate through Egypt on their way to southern Africa and only rarely spend the winter there.
FlamingoThe pinkish Greater Flamingoes (lat. Phoenicopterus ruber, Egyptian dSr) on the other hand often hibernate in Egypt. Until the 19th century CE they used to live in the saline lakes along the Mediterranean coast. They are attested in Delta sites since the Middle Kingdom.
It is unclear whether predynastic and Old Kingdom depictions of flamingo-like birds should be identified as such. They often have characteristics of other birds as well, such as ostriches or ibises. Also a logographic reference to dSr in the tomb of Mehu
Fetch, you who are with me, the flamingo cage!may just denote a biggish bird. New Kingdom representations on the other hand are quite realistic.
Flamingos were hunted and eaten in ancient Egypt and were still a popular dish in Roman times.
Stan Hendrickx, "Autruches et flamants - les oiseaux représentés sur la céramique prédynastique de la catégorie Decorated" in Cahiers Caribéens d’Egyptologie n°1, février/mars 2000
Salima Ikram, Choice cuts: meat production in ancient Egypt, Peeters Publishers, 1995
 Hendrickx 2000, p.27
 Thesaurus Linguae Aegyptiae website: Altägyptisches Wörterbuch, Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften => Grabinschriften => Sakkara => Unas-Friedhof => Grabkomplex des Mehu => Texte aus dem Mehu-Grab => Torraum => Südwand
 Hendrickx 2000, p.28
 Ikram 1995, p.28