"....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.”
"All truth passes through 3 stages: First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident."
-- Arthur Schopenhauer
Monday, September 19, 2005
I just typed in "Ivory-billed Woodpecker" into a Google search engine and got 288,000 hits... hey, Ivory-bills ROCK!! (okay, so "Britney Spears" gets you 15,100,000 hits, but still...)
Anyway, yesterday, while birding along a local greenway, I chanced upon a Pileated Woodpecker foraging off the path; always a nice sight, and in this case a potent reminder to me of just how distinctive-looking this species is for any long-time birder, or for anyone accustomed to seeing them. The literature's frequent references to great similarity between Pileateds and Ivory-bills is hugely overblown and I think applies primarily to inexperienced viewers. Take a gander at any field guide showing both birds side-by-side and focus on the heads, and then on the bodies -- you will see utterly different markings (same colors, but strikingly different patterns/appearances). It goes back to my earlier notion that the 'jizz' of these two birds differ so widely as to be wholly unlikely for one to be mistaken for the other multiple times in a row by seasoned birders... or so it seems to me.