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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, September 25, 2011

 

Where oh Where....

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Nice summary piece of Ivory-bill matters at this point here:

http://www.miller-mccune.com/environment/long-slog-for-the-ivory-billed-woodpecker-36270/

My favorite quote from it comes from Chuck Hunter with USFWS:

“If no further observations are made, it could be another 30 years before the species is declared extinct... But within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife community, we are not ready to declare it extinct. I have not seen compelling evidence to suggest it’s extinct.”

That reflects my own outlook (though I think the "30 years" figure an exaggeration)... I'm not just looking for solid documentation that the species exists; I'm looking alternatively for compelling evidence that it does not, and given the number and type of reports across decades, that evidence (for extinction) also remains largely conjectural and less-than-overwhelming.

On a complete side-note, those who recall Dr. Martin Collinson's past role in the IBWO debate, may be interested to know he has authored an article in the current edition of "Birding" concerning the identification of the (likely extinct) Eskimo Curlew:

http://blog.aba.org/2011/09/thoughts-on-the-september-2011-birding-part-1-of-3.html


[above pic via Wikimedia Commons of original Singer Tract IBWOs]
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Comments:
The gift that never stops giving.

What is the nature of the evidence of a bird being extinct that would satisfy Chuck Hunter?
 
Consistent lack of credible sightings, reports, and blurry photos, some of which can be quite compelling, despite the possible variation. I believe he also being realistic, in that, if the bird was/is extinct there would be many fewer reports of IBWOs, or for any bird for that matter. I would imagine that he probably believes the Bachman's Warbler and perhaps even the Eskimo Curlew are extinct, due to the lack of sightings to support otherwise. It is just a matter of time, sometimes people believe one thing, then an event happens that drastically alters their opinion.
 
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