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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.

Web ivorybills.blogspot.com

"....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

Saturday, December 03, 2005


-- Jerome Jackson Talk --

I mentioned some upcoming Ivory-bill programs a few posts back; here's another one: IBWO expert Dr. Jerome Jackson will be speaking at the Collier County Audubon Society (Fla.) on Wed. Dec. 7. What intrigues me is the stated title of his talk: "The Ivory-billed Woodpecker Lives !!" (...sounds like a good title for a blog : - )
Some have pointed to Jackson as a skeptic of the Arkansas findings -- actually, he has been more of an agnostic, pretty much stating there may or may not be Ivory-bills in Arkansas, and the Cornell evidence just isn't conclusive one way or the other. I would be interested to know if by now he has shifted his opinion, or is the title just in some way rhetorical, and he still has reservations about Cornell's specific findings (for anyone who doesn't know, Dr. Jackson has been the most consistent, prominent, vocal proponent of possible Ivory-bill survival over the last 20 years).
If any of my readers by chance attend that presentation I would certainly enjoy hearing what he has to say.

First of all, I'd like to say that I enjoy this blog very much.
Secondly, I did attend Dr. Jacksons talk.
Ivory-Billed Woodpecker Lives??????
The room was full around a hundred people or so. I thought people seemed optimstic and excited.
The lady from the audubon society that introduced him said they try to never invite the same person back two years in a row, but, they were so excited about the recent discovery of the IBWO in AK that they had to ask the "world's most renound expert of the IBWO", especially since he lives here in Naples.
I couldn't believe he began with, "I had to laugh when I saw the title THE IVORY-BILLED WOODPECKER LIVES!!", as he chuckeled in disbelief.
The slideshow began, he then told us how he went to the cache and white river, in NOV. to search for the IBWO and that he did not see or hear any. Dr. J.J then gave a very informative talk on the tragic history of the IBWO. He told us how he went to Cuba and saw an IBWO in 1988, however ther was no picture of it, just a picture of where it took place. Then, he talked about how pilleateds double knock and call and that he finds the audio recordings that Cornell got in the big woods inconclusive. He says the video, is without a doubt a pilleated in not an IBWO. Next, he told us with a smile that he will be on NOVA Jan 10th giving his side of the argument and Dr. Fitzpatrick will give his. He questions the science that Cornell used and said they had to come up with something in order to get that 10 million in funding. He said that he hopes that it exists, but if it doesn't, we don't need the IBWO as an icon to sell conservation of the big woods. He didn't take any questions and quickly left the stage. The audience was very quiet after, kind of in shock not knowing what to say.

Things Dr. Jackson did not say.
1. He Didn't talk about specific sightings other than his.
2. He Didn't talk about the possibilities that they might exist in Collier County, or other places in FL, or in other states.
3. He Didn't mention anything about areas in Collier County or FL that we might want to think about protecting for future IBWOs.

My, opinion for what it is worth. I think Dr. Jackson feels left out of the National spot light and his only way into the discussion is to become the adversary. I think if he saw one fly right in front of him he wouldn't admit to it because it would distroy his arguments and up comming national stage. I could not believe that he had to gall to mention his sighting, I mean really, where's the picture? The quote that stuck with me the most was when he said that "we don't need the IBWO as an icon to sell conservation of the Big Woods". He obviously is not a salesman. People been trying to kill off this icon for a long time, after all, it's much easier to drain and slash when you don't have to think about the cute fuzzy animals in the forrest.

So there it is, he is not a believer, at least at this point.

He made everyone in the audience feel as if there was no point in looking for the IBWO.

Look out Cornell he comming.

As for me, I still believe.
Is it possible that the
skeptics were right all
of course ANYthing is possible; the recorded sounds and Luneau bird could be other things, but as I've written so many times before, for 16+ experienced people to have all made an identical error on different days, from different positions, at different times, in different light, stretches credulity to the brink. Given the totality of evidence, past and present, it makes more sense for IBWO to be in the Big Woods than not. The scariest prospect, hopefully wrong, is not that there are no IBWO in Big Woods, but that there are only 1 or 2.
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