Bird #198 — Cattle Egret

bubulcus (concerning cattle) ibis (a sacred Egyptian bird)

Wednesday, April 8, 1981 — 10:30 am

Palos Hills, Illinois — Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center

I had never birded in the Palos area, so after I saw the Eurasian Wigeon, I drove around, stopping frequently at ponds, sloughs and fields.  I saw a Northern Harrier and a Turkey Vulture, among other things.  But I didn’t like the area.  Everywhere I stopped, there were dozens of obviously-poor folks fishing.  I didn’t get the impression they were taking time off work either.  Relaxing all day long and living off my tax dollars.  Nice work if you can get it.

Anyway, I happened upon the Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center.  I wasn’t impressed. It was rather run-down and crawling with kids on field trips.  I walked a short loop trail that cut through a brushy area along the flooded shore of a muddy slough.  In a small clearing, about 40 feet from the trail, I saw the Cattle Egret standing in mud.  It bent over for a drink, then walked slowly off through the shrubs, pausing occasionally to pick at the mud.

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