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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)

“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






Sunday, March 26, 2006

 

-- Another "Frontiers" Post --

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The following Sun. (3/26) post, "IBWO vs. PIWO Wing" by Floyd Hayes on "Frontiers of Identification" is one of many I think worth a read, if you're not already following them all on that site:


http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/FRID.html#1143399287


Several good, and balanced points are made I think, and toward the end this reasonable conclusion is included:
"In my opinion the current IBWO controversy is by far the greatest--and most entertaining--bird controversy
in my lifetime. Whether or not it is ever resolved to the satisfaction of all, just think of how much we have learned thus far and
yet have to learn about: the appearance, biology, and historical occurrence of the IBWO; the mechanics of bird flight, including
variation in the wingbeat frequencies of woodpeckers; variation in the vocalizations of woodpeckers and other birds including
Blue Jays; variation in the drumming displays of woodpeckers and other sources of similar sounds; the limitations of video
and sound analysis; etc. Of course we also benefit by the new acquisitions of land and funding for conservation, and
the education of the general public."

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Link
Comments:
My favorite posts are the ones that point out that Jackson contradicts himself between the Auk paper and his book.
 
I like that he "tips his hat" to Cornell. My opinion of them has grown a lot even though they haven't had the success we would have hoped for. They're doing the heavy lifting (outside of buying land) and I can't think of another entity who could have done it as well. (BTW, I have no relationship to Cornell)

I orginally thought it wrong that they left Jackson out of the loop, but now I think I understand why: too many cooks... Cornell made the right call.
 
I see this as a ludicrous rather than a "reasonable conclusion". The "IBWO rediscovery" was supposed to be one of the biggest conservation stories of our lifetimes. Its importance was not in how it would entertain us or engage us in controversy. The entire incident has revealed much more about the behavior of humans, as a species, that it has about IBWO. And while there have been direct benefits to the principals there is no benefit to the environmental movement in having this much egg on its face - and the egg is clearly that of the IBWO.
 
And while there have been direct benefits to the principals there is no benefit to the environmental movement in having this much egg on its face - and the egg is clearly that of the IBWO.

...so that means we have proof of its existence!
 
Cornell is "doing the heavy lifting (outside of buying land) and I can't think of another entity who could have done it as well."

Could you or anyone provide specific information that backs up this statement? I too would like to have my faith in the institution restored. Thanks.
 
Check their website. Do a Google search if you can't find it.
 
Check their website.

I have no doubt they are standing up for their own work. I am just wondering what they are doing that is convincing skeptics or letting the lab regain the respect they had when they first announced the "rediscovery". It appears to me that while they were well aware of the importance of a "rediscovery" they failed to realize the major downside of a "rediscovery" based on murky videos and with no subsequent "sightings". They needed a few more cooks if they were hoping to make more than humble pie.
 
"Could you or anyone provide specific information that backs up this statement? I too would like to have my faith in the institution restored. Thanks."

One way to explore this is to have suggestions on who would have done a better job in the all the areas Cornell has been working.

- getting donor money and funding the search
- volunteer/searcher coordination
- search logistics
- integrating remote sensors into the search
- cavity surveys
- providing information for the public via their website
- writing the papers
- doing the PR and giving presentations to the public

It's a big job. Not one for the faint-hearted, and certainly not one for the rock-throwers.
 
What you list as their activities constitute the easy part of running an NGO and is basically spending other people's money. Obtaining other people's money is the hard part and typically requires proof of the importance of your work or a naive public. As an academic institution, I am surprised they relied so heavily on the latter.
 
Here's another way to look at it: What if CLO didn't exist or wasn't interested? How would the search be going two years later?

My guess is there would be no serious search today, either because it would've already been quit, or because it hadn't yet started!

Example: Pair is seen in La. in April 1999 by Kulivan. Serious search commences in 2002 and lasts 30 days.

There is now or will be searches in a number of states thanks to all of the hoopla from AR.
 
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