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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






Friday, November 26, 2010

 

-- Crocker Q & A --

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Here's a relatively recent YouTube upload of Scott Crocker (producer of the independent documentary "Ghost Bird") answering some questions following a showing of his film (~10 mins., but last couple mins. not pertaining to IBWO):



Past and upcoming screenings of the film can be checked from this page at the film's main website (may take awhile to fully load):
http://ghostbirdmovie.wordpress.com/screenings/
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Comments:
“...turkey hunter woke up, saw two birds dancing on a branch.” He implies it may all have been a dream.

I didn’t know Kulivan’s sighting was controversial in terms of his sincerity or of him being a sensible guy. I’ve never read or heard anything before that suggested it.
 
I don't think Scott was really implying it may have all been a dream, but simply painting the implausibility of it all while giving an off-the-cuff answer. I was more perturbed by his reference or emphasis on the April 1st date, since no one who interviewed Kulivan came away surmising April Fools Day had any bearing on the claim.
 
Well, I went a-Googling just to bring myself up to speed on the Kulivan sightings; I knew of them and when and where they allegedly occurred, but little else.

Curiously, I found the archives of this site gave the best history... Of course that was before I looked again and saw only a single "l" in Kulivan...

http://ivorybills.blogspot.com/2009_04_01_archive.html

Scroll down to the April 1, 2009 blog entry... I must've been lurking and minding my manners back then, because I see CT didn't claim to be me (CC1), only "Anonymous" and Mike Collins... It is a relief to know he was joking, because I'm generally unrepentant about confrontation tactics--gleaned from working in the rehab--I've directed at posters who generalize themselves as "anonymous."

One more...

http://ivorybills.blogspot.com/2005/10/april-1999-back-to-pearl-river.html

Anyway, I'm grateful one link was preserved offering a reprint of one news report...

http://www.ibiblio.org/pardo/birds/archive/archive3/msg00406.html

In regard to "no one... surmising April Fools Day had any bearing on the claim," I think it's worth noting that he apparently waited a few days before reporting it because he wasn't certain anyone would believe him.

Okay, I've known enough sociopaths to know they play "deep games," but if that's the case, he will have established a track record elsewhere, and I'm doubtuful he has. Sociopaths don't tend to choose forestry as a field of study, if in fact, they manage to stay out of trouble long enough to be admitted to a college or university.

Here's another somewhat contemporary report...

http://www.usatoday.com/news/science/biology/2002-01-17-ivory-billed.htm

There's actually quite a bit more still out there, including some pretty caustic stuff (I'd say "bring it on!" but this is CT's site, not mine).

What I find noteworthy is that other sightings persist after Mr. K's, and the real noise didn't begin until years afterwards.
 
Yes, Kulivan's claim (once released) got a ton of coverage, including being reviewed in most of the newer IBWO books, and was followed up quite heavily for 2 yrs. in the La. woods. There are many IBWO claims every yr., but Van Remsen at LSU and others found K's to be especially sincere and credible and from an individual who spent a lot of time in the woods. In brief, I don't take seriously any notion of the claim as a dream or April fools joke (barring new & real evidence of such); the only question is whether it was an accurate identification (at close range).
 
Crocker shows a contempt for Kulivan’s sighting. (He saw birds “dancing” and other comments). How did he get that attitude? Don’t presume it’s because he has a DVD to sell, and if the ivory-bill is never again documented, his film could be one of the last words on the issue.

There was one other interesting thing Crocker said. He talked about the feeling at Cornell(?) that the big proof was imminent. And then crickets... Same thing happened with the Auburn group and two other search groups I know of. Interesting phenomenon.
 
Jerry Jackson's auditory encounter is Mississippi is also represented a little differently in the film than in other accounts.

Here's Jackson in the film: “I thought once, when I heard those [kents], that I had an Ivory-billed Woodpecker in Mississippi. Never could find the bird. And then I found the Blue Jay making the sound.”

Here's Jackson in his book, writing about events after a long encounter where he heard "precisely the call heard on the [Allen/Kellogg] tape”: "Later, in another part of the forest, we had a blue jay respond to the recording, giving similar calls, but always ending its call with a typical blue jay note. Although we have no documentation, Malcolm and I both believe that the bird that responded to our tape was an ivory-billed woodpecker.”
 
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