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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






Monday, March 27, 2006

 

-- Another Searcher Weighs In --

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Another Cornell volunteer has chimed in with their take on the search following a 2-week stint in the Big Woods:

http://www.surfbirds.com/phorum/read.php?f=66&i=5733&t=5733
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Link
Comments:
This is off topic regarding the thread about another researcher weighs in. I just got back viewing some chatter on Bird forum and it really amazes that there are some people out there that really believe in Mike Collins sightings. He wrote on one entry that he had 7 encounters of Ivory-billeds in one week! He still is claiming the bird in the video is a Ivory-billed when there is not one ivory-billed expert supporting his claim! Mike's credibility in his home state is tattered with all his obscure bird sightings from a small park he birds on and off, he has only been birding for 10 years and claims to know all the bird calls in North America. His sightings of these so-called Ivory-billeds in the Pearl River are not even making a ripple on the listservs in Lousianna or other neighboring states.

Mike in some way has created this very small army of believers and every time Mike writes something in Bird Forum his little crew of idiots rally behind him like he some sort of hero to them. LOL

Mike Collins reaks of how new he is to birding and how inexperience he is in the field. I met a lot of rookie golfers who have the best set of clubs money can buy but they always seem to shoot a 70 in holes of golf. That is to me is Mike Collins in the birding world. The trouble is people do not care how bad Mike Collins is in the field these "worshippers" are just happy because they think he saw one or more Ivory-billeds because he is a scientist at NASA and really good at math.

I am going to guarantee that Mike Colins will NEVER EVER produce any hard evidence such as a clear video or a photo that will be pasted on a Nat'l Geo magazine. His weak video on his website is suppose to better than the Luneau video! That is realy funny because I do not see the birders on "Frontiers of Identification" chatting about his video! They are all chatting about frame 33.3 of the Luneau video. The birders in this forum do not want to even mention Mike Collins because they most know something about him and possible that maybe due to all these absurb bird sightings in Virginia.

Mike Collins is trying to make a name for himself and build up his credibility and reputation as some highly experience birder but in reality he still that rich kid with a great set of clubs knocking balls all over the place!

It is also funny to read that some birders think he is honing on some hot spot in the Pearl River. I know exactly what will happen in the next few weeks.

1. He will fall in the river numerous times and lose all his equipment again.

2. Make claims Ivory-bills eat frogs and snakes because they flush near water.

3. Shoot more video/photos of the habitat he sees in the Pearl River but not the woodpecker but WILL mention he heard 8 of them during this outing.

4. Stick more red balls in trees

5. Claim he knows ALL the bird calls in South America.

6. Make more statements that the video on his website is a Ivory-bill Woodpecker and it's STILL better then the Luneau video.

7. Criticize Cornell search efforts

8. Repair his kayak again

9. Talk about seeing masses of Mac. Warblers migrating thru the Pearl River.

finally.

10. Will promote himself as a Ivory-billed Woodpecker expert and will claim he is a better birder than Kaufmann and Sibley.
 
I met a lot of rookie golfers who have the best set of clubs money can buy but they always seem to shoot a 70 in holes of golf.

Should say "shoot 70 in 9 holes of golf"
 
Well it could be that he's hearing Kents that are actually Blue-Jay mimics. I don't dispute that he could be way wrong, or might be a novice.
As for the Connecticut Warblers...
In olden times, people would see small flocks of Connecticut Warblers in parks on the east coast in fall. I read it in my A C Bent Warbler book. It's probably very unusual these days but seeing 3 in one day I don't think is that incredible.
It does seem a little fishy to be hearing Kents so often and never getting a photo. And the search area isn't exactly mature forest.
As for the video... well I mean who knows? You know for sure that's a pileated? Or a hoax?
You are entitled to your view but it doesn't hurt to make sure he doesn't have an IBWO down there, does it? If someone *is* out there toying with us, I'll be the first to hand you my hat. Ok call back in the psychics maybe they can find this bird.

Paul Sutera
 
"...it doesn't hurt to make sure he doesn't have an IBWO down there, does it?"

We can be pretty sure. There are no corroborated reports of an IBWO in LA in over 60 years. Additionally, Zeiss sponsored a month-long exploration of the Pearl River area a few years ago and came up with nothing. No sight records, no sound recordings, nothing. The LA ornithologists' organization also has the bird listed as "Extinct/extirpated?" Until someone can provide independently verifiable evidence of an IBWO in LA, the above is good enough for me.
 
I quess you then think that David Kullivan is either crazy or a liar because he did see two ivorybills at closeup range for 10 minutes on 4-1-99 in the Pearl.
 
Seeing a suppose Ivory-billed is one thing. Getting hard concrete proof that you actually seen one is the other thing. Kullivan never had any concrete proof and the birding community relied on his word that he saw one despite the long sponsored search to refind it.

It always seems the wrong people see these IBWO's but the most experience birders in the North America never see them.
 
Well the search of the Pearl in 2000 lasted less than a month, and had less than 30 people. It's a beaten dead horse really to discuss the extent of swamps in the south. Or to discuss how most birding groups barely get 1/2 mile from their cars. I can't go into anything not already discussed ad-nauseum. When birders routinely go 5 miles from their cars and go into counties and parishes without
a large birding presence, then I'll believe this bird is gone.
Until then, all the Cornell bashing in the world and all the mistakes they've made don't serve as proof that they did not see the bird.

Paul Sutera
 
"I quess you then think that David Kullivan is either crazy or a liar because he did see two ivorybills at closeup range for 10 minutes on 4-1-99 in the Pearl."

I wasn't making a claim that Kullivan is "crazy" or a "liar." Those are your (inflammatory) words. Also, to clarify things, Kullivan reported seeing ivorybills. Whether he actually saw them is a matter of dispute. The Zeiss team returned to the area where he reportedly saw a pair of birds and found nothing. Not only did they search for a month, but they placed sound recording equipment in the area which recorded sounds from late January through mid-March. Neither the search nor the recorded sounds corroborated Kullivan's claim. This doesn't necessarily prove that Kullivan was wrong, but it does suggest that he was mistaken in his identification. In the world of birding, identification mistakes happen all the time.
 
The Zeiss team started their 30 day search nearly 3 years after Kulivan's sighting.

To put that in perspective, given Sparling's sighting in Feb 04, let's not starting searching in Arkansas until this coming December.
 
"The Zeiss team started their 30 day search nearly 3 years after Kulivan's sighting."

Are you suggesting that the two birds migrated somewhere after those 3 years? If so, did anyone see them on migration? And where did they go? Iowa, maybe?
 
"This doesn't necessarily prove that Kullivan was wrong, but it does suggest that he was mistaken in his identification. "

No it does NOT suggest that, fer krissakes. Birds MOVE. I saw an oldsquaw. A month later the bird wasn't there. Does that mean I was wrong? No, it just means the bird wasn't there anymore. And a decade later they changed ther species' name, just to confuse matters even more...
 
They may have move somewhere else. 3 years is a long time. Tanner thought they moved considerable distances in their lives. The reason is locating high concentrations of beetle larvae that peak about two years after a tree dies. After a couple years of good foraging, the birds probably move on.

Concentrations of recently dead trees can be explained by localized disturbances, such as fire.

No, Iowa is far out of their historical range. See any of a number of IBWO books and articles to see what their range is. (Being an educated skeptic would make you more interesting)

I don't know where exactly they went. Maybe ten miles south? Forty miles northwest? Who knows? But it's more likely they would've left than stayed, unless that specific area Kulivan saw them provided a contining source of large beetle larvae.

Which raises something I've been wondering about. TNC was likely starting to girdle trees to create a food source starting in 2004. They should be ripening up about now. It'll be interesting to see if they have success attracting the birds this way.
 
Anon said
Are you suggesting that the two birds migrated somewhere after those 3 years? If so, did anyone see them on migration? And where did they go? Iowa, maybe?

Anon said
No it does NOT suggest that, fer krissakes. Birds MOVE. I saw an oldsquaw. A month later the bird wasn't there. Does that mean I was wrong? No, it just means the bird wasn't there anymore. And a decade later they changed ther species' name, just to confuse matters even more...

Anon said
I don't know where exactly they went. Maybe ten miles south? Forty miles northwest? Who knows? But it's more likely they would've left than stayed, unless that specific area Kulivan saw them provided a contining source of large beetle larvae
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I have been maintaining this view of the potential for far wandering for years. This view came about from the following. Two male birds were seen, one in 1970, another in 1978.

Both sightings were solid and not “fleeting” glimpses.

The first sighting had multiple observers

Both were single incidences that were NOT REPLICATED despite looking for the birds and living in the area for over 30 years (searched very extensively so for the bird of the 1978 sighting).

Both sightings were in a location and state that today is not considered by many as Ivory-bill habitat (but was in the old historic range of Audubon’s time).

I must conclude the these birds not only are great travelers, but at times are also capable of turning up in areas out of acceptable habitat and in areas not considered the norm (but I think Iowa would be a bit too far out).

This extreme dispersal may be in response to looking for a (possibly unavailable) mate or as young birds dispersing. BTW- both these sightings occurred close to a large waterway.
 
Until then, all the Cornell bashing in the world and all the mistakes they've made don't serve as proof that they did not see the bird.

And all the excuses in the world won't prove that they did.

The IBWO covers vast distances in search of food and while dispersing, according to believers. Those travels will, without any doubt, bring them to and across roads. According to reports, they ARE frequently seen near roads and even in yards.

The True Believer doesn't need solid evidence to believe. They excitedly jump at every new rumor, and rumor after rumor doesn't pan out. It is the boy who cried wolf times 1,000. At some point reality has to creep in.

We have all learned much more about the IBWO and Cornell's sightings since this all was announced nearly a year ago, and that's the reason why faith in Cornell's claims has plummeted in recent months.

Sadly, the bird is almost certainly gone
 
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