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.