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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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Thursday, October 06, 2005

 

-- The April 2004 Sightings --

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Some folks have wondered what might account for the small flurry of Ivory-bill sightings that took place in April 2004 at Cache River with only a few additional sightings either before or since. The bird seen then was generally ID'd as a male. One possible explanation is that a pair of IBWOs successfully nested that season, in which case April could easily have been a month of much chick-feeding. The female often stays at the nest the majority of the day, while the male is out foraging for food for his new family (and incubates at night). By May/June the chicks could have fledged and chick-rearing subsided. If nest attempts of the adult pair then failed in 2005 such foraging activity far afield would be diminished and the pair might stay much closer to their home/roost area (which could be miles from outer feeding areas) than the previous season. This winter, with many more volunteers/searchers on hand, a far wider area can be searched more adequately.

It would be interesting to know if the bird spotted in April '04 flew off in seemingly random directions when approached by sighters or consistently took off in a certain basic direction -- when confronted during the nesting season, birds out foraging often fly off in a direction OPPOSITE the direction the nest is in (a sort of misdirection for any pursuers). If Elvis consistently took off in say a northerly line-of-flight it might imply a nest-site somewhere south of an approaching observer. Just a possibility...
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