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IVORY-BILLS  LiVE???!  ...

=> THE blog devoted to news and commentary on the most iconic bird in American ornithology, the Ivory-billed Woodpecker (IBWO)... and... sometimes other schtuff.
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"....The truth is out there."

-- Dr. Jerome Jackson, 2002 (... & Agent Fox Mulder)

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

-- Hamlet

"All truth passes through 3 stages: First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident."

-- Arthur Schopenhauer






Sunday, August 24, 2008

 

-- Whazzup? Not Much --

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Sorry for lapse of posting, but warned earlier on that I wasn't expecting much to report on through the summer months, prior to USF&W issuing a final summary report from last season, or the next winter search season getting underway. For the moment, am occupied with other things as well, but to keep folks entertained in the interim go ahead and play with this film clip if you like, or have only seen it 922 times before:



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Thursday, August 14, 2008

 

-- More Notes --

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Duly noted... I only recently discovered (though it's been around for almost a year) Scott Weidensaul has his own blog going at:

http://ofafeather.blogspot.com

Hmmm, David Sibley was blogging for awhile; now we just need to get Pete Dunne blogging (I mean the guy writes about 10 hours a day anyway, doesn't he?).
Speaking of Pete, he will be the keynote speaker at the Georgia Colonial Coast Birding and Nature Festival coming up in October. The times they are a changin': this, and other yearly birding festivals are no longer including Ivory-bill themes or presentations as was almost obligatory a couple years back. Let's hope the upcoming search season changes all that, but then again don't be holdin' your breath.

Last year USF&W released their summary of the prior search season before the end of Sept. Given a slightly more restricted search this past season and less to report maybe the release date this year could be a tad earlier...
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Sunday, August 10, 2008

 

-- Side Notes --

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I've previously mentioned the newly-revised Peterson Guide to Birds of North America, but only this weekend saw and held it in my hands. Very handsome, wonderful volume. Call me old-fashioned, nostalgic, or clinging to the past, but I still find Peterson's artwork unmatched in field guide circles (and these are of course mostly the same old depictions already published numerous times) --- simple yet alive; not too minimal, and not too detailed; just right. The text is, as always, succinct but instructive. The images are enlarged (for us ol' codgers I guess ;-) I still think this is potentially the best guide for beginning and intermediate birders. (For those who don't know, this new version combines the earlier Eastern and Western editions into one volume, and is almost as large as the original Sibley guide, but not quite as unwieldy.) The cover is fittingly a beautiful portrayal of yellow-shafted flickers, the bird that started it all for Roger. With all the new bird field guides flooding the market in the last few years, nice to see this old friend still holding its own.

'Rip' Lyttle reports a couple of partially leucistic Pileated Woodpeckers in the part of South Carolina he is searching (additional white on wing/back area). He has posted a few pics on the Ivory-bill Researchers Forum site (you need to be a member to access pics I believe) -- nothing that would be readily mistaken for IBWO. Still awaiting for someone to capture on film one of these birds having symmetrical patterning across the wings that actually mimics an Ivory-bill's large patches (Noel Snyder claims to have seen one years ago, but no pic). Even statistics for the number of significantly leucistic Pileateds that are recorded across the southeast would be interesting to know. But for now this is just auxiliary information. [SEE comment/clarification below]
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Saturday, August 09, 2008

 

-- N. Carolina Ivorybill Position --

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Audubon is advertising for a field technician to head up the search for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker in southeastern North Carolina (stationed in Wilmington):
"The North Carolina Ivory-billed Woodpecker Search Field Technician will be responsible for implementing standardized protocols developed for systematically searching for the presence of Ivory-billed Woodpecker in the swamp forests and associated woodlands of southeastern North Carolina. Simultaneously, the field technician will survey the study area to assist in research pertaining to the North Carolina Important Bird Areas program. The study locations include the Waccamaw River bottomlands and associated tributaries, selected areas along the Lumber River, and other site TBD. Search efforts will require long days in remote locations and will be physically demanding. After each search day, the field technician will be required to download and enter field data, and maintain all field equipment. Other duties will include: camping, use of canoe or motorized boat, organizing and training volunteers, use of audio and video recording equipment."
The position is currently funded for one year; more details given at the above link.
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Friday, August 08, 2008

 

-- Cody and Britney --

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For your weekend entertainment...

No rhyme or reason for this post whatsoever, except that I love shelties:






please adopt from your local shelter and rescue groups whenever possible...
(p.s. - for more info on shelties visit sheltienation.com)

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

 

-- In Other News --

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Here's Bill Pulliam's take on a story that's been widely-reported recently about the latest population census for lowland gorillas.

Meanwhile Chuck Hagner, of Birder's World Magazine, reports that the Ivory-billed Woodpecker doesn't even appear as a topic on the program for the American Ornithologists' Union, at their annual meeting in Portland, Oregon this week.
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Monday, August 04, 2008

 

-- ? Imperial ? --

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Recently, an unusual number of hits to the blog have come from folks who've googled "imperial woodpecker" and been directed to my site (because of past posts on the Imperial here). Also, a couple of emailers have made inquiries to me about the Imperial. Don't know for sure why the subject is suddenly arising, though it may be in part due to a recent post (8-3-08) by Mike Collins which ran as follows:
"There exists footage of an Imperial Woodpecker, and the bird is in flight according to what I have heard. Why haven't the details been made public? The flap rate, flight speed, and flap style might shed light on the ivorybill."
I've occasionally heard/seen very loose vague glimmers about a possible Imperial sighting months ago, but nothing substantive or that I give any credence to at this point. I think Mike's reference may actually be to a supposed brief film of an Imperial in flight from the 1950's, which I believe is in the possession of Cornell. Whether they have utilized it in any way, or have any reason not to release it, I don't know.

May be worth pointing out that the Imperial Woodpecker was MUCH larger than the Ivory-billed. So even though the two species are from the same genus, the IBWO is probably actually closer to the Pileated in both size and mass (i.e. not sure if analysis of Imperial flight pattern would be all that helpful in drawing conclusions about IBWO flight pattern or not --- not to mention that it's difficult to generalize from a single short flight clip of any bird; but still, I understand Mike's interest in the clip if it exists).

Anyway, that's as much (next to nothing) as I know, so no need to inquire further here. If someone does know more about such putative ;-) Imperial footage and wants to pass info along for posting here to enlighten others, feel free.
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Sunday, August 03, 2008

 

-- Housekeeping --

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As many know by now there was a major problem accessing this and LOTS of other blogs over the weekend due to problems with Microsoft's Internet Explorer (surprise, surprise); actually, the problem related back to changes at "Sitemeter," a blog traffic tabulator, but seemed to only affect IE, and should now be remedied.
At any rate if you are STILL using IE as your main web browser, please get with the program and switch over to Firefox (or almost anything other than the Microsoft product).
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