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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, December 01, 2005

 

-- Arkansas Sighting Report --

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This report was part of a much longer post on the AR. birding listserv yesterday:
".....Met Dave Rogles looking over the gulls and we sat talking in the
horizontal rain. We naturally got around to the Ivory-billed
Woodpecker, and he still harbored some skepticism. My news for him was
that my friend in Eureka Springs, Dale Becker, had seen Elvis about ten
days previously, an excellent sighting of a flying and perching bird, in
sight for about ten, maybe more, seconds. At 50-70 yards. He'd seen
bill, crest, chin, back and flying wings as the bird moved from one tree
to another, each time quickly moving to the far side and peeking around
at Dale. When he called Cornell later, they said it was probably the
best sighting they'd had.... J Pat Valentik Nov 29 2005

PS. I'll have a transcript of Dale's notes sometime soon and will post
them, minus location info.

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Comments:
Did he get any photos? Or did he forget to use his camera or camcorder like so many others.

Why are photos of so many other rare birds easier to obtain? He got a 10 second look...long enough to snap a picture you would think....

I don't believe it. Sorry... show me the photo...
 
Very interesting. I look forward to hearing the details. Here is t longer quote from the Arkansas birding list:

...Went over to Riverlands from there to look for Laplands on the Confluence road. Met Dave Rogles looking over the gulls and we sat talking in the horizontal rain. We naturally got around to the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, and he still harbored some skepticism. My news for him was that my friend in Eureka Springs, Dale Becker, had seen Elvis about ten days previously, an excellent sighting of a flying and perching bird, in sight for about ten, maybe more, seconds. At 50-70 yards. He'd seen bill, crest, chin, back and flying wings as the bird moved from one tree to another, each time quickly moving to the far side and peeking around at Dale. When he called Cornell later, they said it was probably the best sighting they'd had. I was supposed to go along with him, but his wife had a dream, and they set off abruptly. Dale's father had been a fish expert in Wisconsin, (he'd taken Dale into the field as soon as he was big enough to carry things) and had always held out hope for the continued existence of the great critter. He, the father, had commissioned two life size carvings of an IBWO and a Pileated, and those have been in Dale's living room since the father died. This is a guy who knows the difference in his blood, and I can't help thinking there's something high and eerie and inspired about the whole chain of events....

J Pat Valentik Nov 29 2005
 
let's hope then that
it is true....I really
want to believe this...
like everyone else.
I am a skeptic by
nature...
 
Any word on the Becker sighting?
 
I've seen no follow-up on the Arkansas Bird listserv on this sighting, and when I originally asked D. Luneau about it, he was unaware of it, and a tad skeptical of it as a second-hand report (...he couldn't vouch for the credibility of the report).
I've now emailed Mr. Valentik to see if he can respond with any further info (hope I had his correct email address) -- if he should respond (I'm not hopeful) I'll put it here, unless it's significant enough to justify a new post.
Of course one can read all this 2 ways: the story was unfounded from the get-go, or the sighting was so good Cornell is keeping the wraps on it, unless/until they get a photo.
 
here's the response (in full) I received from Mr. Valentik:

"there's nothing really to report. As far as I know it's just another pretty reliable eye only report, still not the killer picture or video. I haven't heard any doubt, other than the run of the mill "why didn't he get a picture". I wish I did have more insider info, but at the Fayetteville CBC, attended by several serious academics and major players, there was no gleeful whispering, so I don't think there's been a big breakthrough."
 
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