bittern in the park

This morning I was rushing to class and was quite surprised, when driving by the city park at Park and Severn in Shawnee, to see a bird with long legs and a long neck and a long beak pointed at the sky. Is that real, I thought, or did someone put an eccentric lawn ornament in the park? I pulled around on Severn and looked with binoculars, and sure enough there was an American Bittern “hiding” in the short grass as if he were surrounded by tall reeds. I saw the stripes on the breast and the greenish feet. It moved its head and leg as a mail carrier approached, so I know it was not a lawn ornament. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a camera or time to stick around, so I left. The bird was gone when I came back in the afternoon.

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