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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)

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"All truth passes through 3 stages: First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident."

-- Arthur Schopenhauer

Thursday, January 05, 2006


-- AR. Report & 'Nova ScienceNow' --

The following report from the Big Woods area was posted this morning on the Tennessee Bird Listserv:
" You could have blown me over with a single breath, but at about 4:30pm
Central yesterday during the first day of a 4 day trip, Bob O'Dear and I heard the
bird[IBWO] three times. Twice, it was the single high pitched shrill note, while
the third time, it was the rapid fire cadence call. We are staying at
Mallard Pointe Lodge and Reserve, the only private land adjacent to the restricted area. We have not heard the double pecking notes yet nor seen the bird, which I still think is a long shot, but I now feel better about our chances.
A very memorable #799 ABA.
Will send more details as time allows."

David Chaffin
Cleveland TN
Without any sight confirmation, don't want to put too much weight on the above report, but we'll see if there's any follow-up.

Also, a reminder of the 'Nova ScienceNow' episode of PBS coming up Jan. 10 in most locales (check your local listings), which will include interviews with Dr. Fitzpatrick and Dr. Jackson regarding the Arkansas IBWO evidence (not sure how far in advance these interviews will have been taped -- unlikely to contain any fresh material not already available -- but always fun to watch scientists present their cases first-hand). And who knows when there might be breaking news; heck, the current overall silence emanating from Arkansas is almost intriguing in its own right...

And, this won't be everyone's cup-of-tea (but fascinating to me), among the other top stories of 2005 that Nova will report on is the story of a Univ. of San Jose mathematician's insights into a "2,300-year-old mystery surrounding prime numbers" which may help "solve the elusive 'twin prime conjecture.'" (even more elusive than Ivory-bills).
From the way the calls are
described it would seem that
"very memorable #799 ABA"
could possibly be a flicker
rather than an ivory-bill.
I agree that the description of the calls and the phrase "double pecking" is a bit odd, which was in part why I didn't want folks giving too much weight to the report, although as best I could gather one or both of the individuals involved have reasonable credibility. There is a followup message today by the same individual which reads as follows:
"Worked a different area yesterday, staying along the edge of Bayou de View. However, the day passed without hearing or seeing the bird... For those contemplating coming to this location, the lodging is much better than average on most bird trips, and the food is great. Had ribs and fish fillets the past two nights. Makes it tough to stick to the Atkins regimen!
The lodge here has a CD of about 4 vocalizations of the bird that we review daily. It was apparently obtained by a Cornell person who was not authorized to be in the restricted area, who is now being sought by Federal officials. Before he left the premises, he left the recordings here at the lodge."
"A very memorable #799 ABA.
Will send more details as time allows."

Any more details?
the only further details thus far (if one regards them as such) are what Bob O'Dear (David's birding partner) offers in Mike Hendrickson's column that I referred to on Jan 11.
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