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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, April 17, 2006

 

-- More Talks --

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Bobby Harrison's comrade, Tim Gallagher, is speaking at another birding festival in Carbondale, IL. near the Illinois Cache River wetlands on the evening of April 28:

http://www.nature.org/wherewework/northamerica/states/illinois/press/press2389.html

and, author Phil Hoose will be speaking at an Audubon meeting in Brunswick, Maine on April 25:

http://www.maineaudubon.org/merrymeeting/mmauct.shtml

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Link
Comments:
For you IBWO Skeptics out there, I wish you would consider this. What are the odds that GOD would let Gallagher, Harrison, and Luneau be the first to see the last birds if it wasn’t true?
 
Or what are the odds that GOD would let Dr. Fitzpatrick be the first to publish about the last birds if it wasn’t true?

I’m beginning to see the logic now
 
These idiotic attempts at humor are getting really tiresome. They speak volumes about the acolytes of Tom Nelson. . .or whomever.
 
You find GOD tiresome?
 
Setting GOD aside for a while. Is there anyone left that still fully believes that the IBWO still lives? I mean fully, without any doubt?

Just wondering
 
Yes.

Plenty of us are unswayed by sloganeering, speculative probability arguments, absurd analogies, and hypothetical abnormal pileateds that fly upside down.
 
"They speak volumes about the acolytes of Tom Nelson. . .or whomever."

Who is Tom Nelson and why would he have acolytes?
 
Who are Pileateds and why do they fly upside down?
 
Will you stop it, please? I'm just trying to find out if anyone really fully believes anymore in IBWOs? Do they still exist? Or are we pretty much done until this year's search either says yah or nay?

Is it so hard just to answer that simple question?
 
I'm just trying to find out if anyone really fully believes anymore in IBWOs? Do they still exist? Or are we pretty much done until this year's search either says yah or nay?

Yes, there are many people who believe the IBWO exists. There are many who believe it may exist. And there are many that believe they do not exist.
 
If you want them to exist they exist.

Most of what we think of as our "real world" doesn't exist. We create myths to get us through our task, day, life. If you examine anything closely enough you will find the void beneath it. That is why humans invented religion.
But to get back to your original question - yes, IBWO do exist and wish someone with some crediblity would come out and get a real picture of them.
 
In answer to the person's question, I think most believers are somewhat certain the bird exists but slightly cautious.
Doubters are mostly the inverse of this... 93% in doubt. A lot depends more on faith at this point in visual sightings. The skeptics call this faith-based ornithology. Even those skeptics who proclaim their 100% skepticism cannot prove the bird isn't extant.
Some people are content to wait for
better evidence. Many have read the accounts of the visual evidence and are convinced.

Paul Sutera
 
I remain convinced, beyond a reasonable doubt, not beyond all doubt, but there is overwhelming evidence, of which the video is only one component. There are also numerous reports from other regions, particularly the Pearl and the Atchfalalya, many of them good.

I'm even inclined to think that there are more ivory-bills outside of Arkansas than inside. The matter doesn't stand or fall on what Cornell comes up with this year. The skeptics always seem to forget that Jerome Jackson himself claims to have heard one, but maybe that's because (and I'll bet this is the case) many of them have not read his book, let alone The Grail Bird.

For our resident failed humorist, the difference between ivory-bill reports and UFOs, bigfoot, etc. is that many of the ivory-bill reports have come from experienced and knowledgeable people. The vehemence with which they have been dismissed over the last 60 years is bizarre. The Grail Bird catalogues this quite comprehensively and very well.
 
Wait. UFO's are reported by some of the most honored citizens in the world, airline pilots. But I doubt that people who believe in IBWO sightings also believe in UFOs.

DO you?
 
A UFO is an Unidentified Flying Object, and this is what pilots report. This does not mean they believe they have seen alien spaceships; it just means they saw something in the air they could not identify. Experienced pilots don't report space aliens and medical probes, just lights or objects that they are not able to produce a ready explanation for. Astronomers don't see UFOs because they have a good frame of reference and knowledge about the night sky and everything that might appear in it, as well as optical and psychological illusions.

This whole UFO analogy is very tired.
 
No, you are wrong. Pilots report UFO's that do fantastic things, such as fly backwards, fly at tremendous speeds, that disappear and reappear. Magical alien things.

It's not tiresome. What you mean is that it is an argument that gives you trouble. So you dismiss it. Could this be what you mean?
 
Also, we know the ivory-bill existed until very recently; we know it is a very wary, hard-to-find bird that was not very well-studied. Unlike the passenger pigeon and the carolina paroquet, it does not travel in flocks. References to cryptozoology and UFOs are totally inappropriate, and utterly dishonest in my view; species are presumed extinct and rediscovered quite often, and the ivory-bill's habitat and behavior are quite consistent with the kind of animal that could be lost for years and then found again.
 
So Dr. Fitzpatrick has said that if nothing definitive comes from this years search then all that will be left is to perhaps continue next year but with basically a skeleton staff. A much reduce effort so to speak.

Will all of you feel betrayed by that? Because you feel that the IBWO is such a skulker and hider that it's impossible to find even after all this searching? You will feel betrayed? Can you live with that?
 
I really don't care what Cornell does in the future. I have no particular feelings about Cornell one way or the other, so why should I feel betrayed?

Your post has nothing to do with anything; it just represents some weird conspiratorial view of the world.
 
If you look at the Cornell data only, you are looking at only a small sliver of the total data/sightings out there.

Whether Cornell gets outstanding 8x10 glossies or not will not change my opinion that I believe the bird is still with us.
 
Why betrayed? It woud indicate that intensive searching in the Big Woods is inefficient, and suggest that the bird(s) is(are) not resident here. Hence, effort should be dispersed more widely within the Mississippi corridor and elsewhere.

Don't forget that rare birds often show up in a place but fail to remain there. In spite of what many claim, the absence of an IBWO in the Big Woods in 2006 does not imply that the bird was not there in 2004. So scaling back the Big Woods search and reallocating resources if no significant resident population can be documented there? Makes perfect sense.The initial sighting has already been "confirmed" a dozen times over. We've moved on to the next phase of "how many, where, and where else?" even if some are still needlessly bogged down in the "if."
 
So, in other words, it is like UFOs. They can never really be pinned down and so true believers will believe regardless of the evidence?

In other words, no matter where science goes from here, you believers will always keep looking? Because in you heart of hearts you know you are right?
 
I believe based on what I have seen firsthand and on extensive interviews with others. I do not believe "simply to believe".
 
"So, in other words, it is like UFOs. They can never really be pinned down and so true believers will believe regardless of the evidence?

In other words, no matter where science goes from here, you believers will always keep looking? Because in you heart of hearts you know you are right?"

There are reams of evidence. You just happen to find it unsatisfactory. Others disagree.

Your characterization of those who take a different view is both vacuous and intellectually dishonest. If you want to have a meaningful discussion, read what people are saying and respond to it. Don't just spout slogans and revert to some formula you've hatched in your own mind or perhaps have read somewhere else. People have made substantive statements, which you repeatedly fail to address. For starters, one of the leading skeptics has reported hearing an ivory-bill. What are you going to do with that? Is he akin to the Ufologists too? Have you even read his book?
 
I love all this bickering that goes on in these blogs. Tom Nelson? Who in the hell cares about him! The only reason he keeps his blog so active with hourly postings about IBWO info. is because he wants to achieve some kind of credit if the day ever happens that Cornell admits they made a huge error on the ID of the song recordings/sightings/video and ect. OF course that day will never come but Tom is trying his best like some sort of Bill O'Reilly of the IBWO world to spin things his direction.

Who is Tom Nelson? Well put it this way I led him on several bird trips and he is very new to birding and bird identification. Of course I suspect he will say other wise but the birding community in Minnesota has seen his skills in the field. Also he is has sent in some really bizarre listing achievements in the state big day category and some monthly listing totals. I can honestly say that the committee that over looks these list do not believe in Tom's achievements because of many reasons which should not be mention here. He is just one of them people in a birding community where people hear or read what he saw or what he sends in to the listing committee and they flip their eyes up when they read his totals.

If Tom Nelson wants to make a name for himself in the IBWO topic/debate then that is fine but his credentials as a birder or a "experience birder" as he puts it is stretching the truth a lot.

In regards if IBWO exist in North America no one really knows for sure. Hell we as birders did not care about the existance of these birds till Cornell announced they saw one. No one got excited over the Kullivan sighting and the search afterwards. Then again back then there were no blogs or forums for birders to bitch at each other on if they exist or not.

Frankly at this point I do not care if IBWO exist, I do not care what the bird in the Luneau video is or what is making those Kent calls in the Cornell recordings. I just do not understand what all the fuss is. Who in the hell cares if Cornell is lying to us? Why should we care? Oh because they are getting funding to buy up some land to protect a bird that is not 100% identified. Who gives a !@##@$ get over it.

But but this is wrong and Cornell and all their partners are using millions of money on a species that might be extinct. There are other species that are known to exist that could use the money. SO! Get over it. It's out of our hands and no blog or paper written is going to change things now. Kenn Kaufman nor David Sibley are going to sway public opinion and make Cornell bend. So how do ya like them apples!?

I think it's so funny how many skpetics actually kiss Tom's ass on his blog. These mess up skeptics or so called birders (NOT) are actually a bunch of zipper heads that couldn't identify shit. Tom locally is not some birding hot shot. He's just a nerdy looking engineer that lives in a private community and his birding skills are about par to Mike Collins of Fishcrow.com. or the Magicman in Florida. Seriously I mean it.

Tom Nelson--is full of crap and his nose is stuck way up Jerome Jackson's ass!
 
Ok, I think we've made a breakthrough. You believers won't be too disappointed if Cornell goes away.

What about science? What if all of science in the form of Ornithology labs and bird guide authors and the like finally declare it quits? What can you do then to keep your beliefs alive?

Can you continue on after that?
 
Whatever else you might think of the man, at least Mike Collins actually goes out and looks for birds, instead of typing on his computer 24/7. And even if you think he's wrong about what he has recorded, he made it public for everyone to see. You need give him a lot of credit for that even if you think he is dead wrong (which I personally don't but that is a different matter).

Some of us have actually been following all the reports through the decades with hopeful skepticism; we're not newcomers to this. For us, the bird seen flying across I-10, Bob Mann's reported hearing, the Lowery incident, Jackson's Cuba expedition, these are not history, these are things that we remember vividly as they happened and that we have been contemplating and debating all along. The fact that all this media and all these ignorant know-it-alls have suddenly swarmed in and trampled all reason is really frustrating.
 
I thought I read that www.fishcrow.com was a practical joke? Is that the same Mike Collins that you are talking about?
 
Yes, why do people keep coming back to www.fishcrow.com? Giving up on the Luneau vido just to seek refuge in a practical joke? Does that work you everybody?
 
"I think it's so funny how many skpetics actually kiss Tom's ass on his blog. These mess up skeptics or so called birders (NOT) are actually a bunch of zipper heads that couldn't identify shit. Tom locally is not some birding hot shot. He's just a nerdy looking engineer that lives in a private community and his birding skills are about par to Mike Collins of Fishcrow.com. or the Magicman in Florida. Seriously I mean it.

Tom Nelson--is full of crap and his nose is stuck way up Jerome Jackson's ass! "

Geez! What woodpecker flew up your ass?
 
"Geez! What woodpecker flew up your ass?"

That's just our old buddy Mike from Minnesota. Whether you agree with him or not, you gotta love the way you always know exactly where he stands and why!
 
Whoever doesn't believe Mike Collins are people just sitting around looking at their computers and bashing people. That bird is clear as day a large crested woodpecker that DOES NOT look or behave like a Pileated to me. Julie Zickefoose who knows bird appearance/dynamics pretty well, partly through observation and all her detailed artwork thinks it could be an Ivory bill.

And to add to this Tom Nelson talk he can take a trip straight to a very HOOOOTTTT place straight down!!!
 
The attacks on Mike Collins are all personal. As far as I know, no one has systematically analyzed and critiqued the evidence he has presented. They've just dismissed it or dredged up disputes that are years old and tried to assasinate his character. To call his site a practical joke is beyond ridiculous. Dr. Collins has been searching for months on his own dime. Who among his critics has the cojones or the commitment to do that?

I agree with Julie Zickefoose's analysis, and I've reviewed the material on his site and his DVD very carefully. His footage is not that money shot everyone's clamoring for, but the bird just ain't a pileated, folks, and there's only one other crested woodpecker in North America.
 
Oops. . .assassinate. Wish Blogger had an edit function.
 
Come on, guys. Lighten up!! I come to blogs like this to be entertained - not to see how people without real lives can get very earnest about the existence of a woodpecker, nor to hear people rant about how strongly they feel about others who may or may not have real lives. Let’s get some humor in these comments.

This past weekend the Believers passed up a perfect opportunity to discuss what the Easter Weekend says about believing and skepticism. Was the messiah killed by the Pontius Pileated Woodpecker? Did not the Doubting Thomas (Nelson) refuse to believe but then exclaimed “My Lord and my God” when he did. Don’t you see all of the possibilities? There is probably a Mary Magdalene in there somewhere. Jerome Jackson could be the anti-Christ and fishcrow.com is clearly the Seventh Circle of Hell. Will be back in a few days and hope that I can laugh with rather than at you.
 
For starters, one of the leading skeptics has reported hearing an ivory-bill. What are you going to do with that?

Here's a quote of Dr. Jackson's, written before the current controversy, when he was still a hero of the Believers:

http://www.birdersworld.com
/brd/default.aspx?c=a&id=446

The methods of science are clear. Scientific progress is made on the basis of data that are unequivocal to other scientists. Did I see an Ivory-billed Woodpecker along the Noxubee River in Mississippi in 1973? Did I hear an Ivory-billed Woodpecker near Vicksburg in 1987? Were those Ivory-bills I heard and saw in Cuba in 1988? Did David Kulivan see Ivory-billed Woodpeckers in the Pearl River swamp in 1999? Did Ivory-billed Woodpeckers make the loud "bams" heard by searchers there? Did Ivory-bills scale the trees that the team photographed? Perhaps. Perhaps not.
 
I just Googled Tom Nelson. Mike Hendrickson may not think Tom Nelson is much of a birder, but Tom Nelson's name appears in the Minnesota Birding records more often than the name "Hendrickson."

http://moumn.org/records.html

Not that "birding fame" has any bearing one way or another on the issue.
 
You've quoted Jackson out of context in a way that fundamentally distorts his personal view (at least his personal view at that time), which doesn't come as a surprise at this juncture. Here's the final graf, which clearly reflects his personal opinion:

'We all think we know what we saw or heard, but science does not advance by undocumented observation, speculation, or opinion polls. It advances by hard facts. Like Fox Mulder, the FBI agent in the popular television series The X-Files, we may know we are right, but the final critical evidence just doesn't seem to fall into place. Tantalizing bits of evidence appear again and again. So Mulder keeps trying. And we keep trying. We know, as the words flash across the television screen at the beginning of X-Files episodes -- "The truth is out there."

There's more evidence and documentation now than there was then. Multiple sightings by qualified obeservers, audio tapes, video that can be challenged but not completely debunked. Whether this amounts to final or "critical" evidence is a matter of opinion, but no evidence is incontrovertible; the Fielding Lewis photos are a case in point. And remember, we don't know what Cornell will present in a few weeks. Anyone who suggests otherwise is just blowing smoke.
 
So....we are agreed then? Everyone agrees that the IBWO might be there but there is no definitive proof?

So we agree that all there is to do is to wait for Cornell to say yay or nay?

And I didn't hear anyone dispute the fact that www.fishcrow.com is a practical joke, right?

Ok, I guess we are all waiting on Cornell and the month of May. How exciting! It's almost here!
 
but no evidence is incontrovertible; the Fielding Lewis photos are a case in point.

The Fielding Lewis photos were questioned for good reason, among those reasons being the secrecy surrounding them, and the fact that the bird is in the exact same position in both photos, and that no good follow-up sightings were made.

The Cornell evidence (films, etc.) from 1935 is incontrovertible. To say that similar incontrovertible evidence is impossible to produce with modern technology and 100 times the effort is more excuse-making. If it's so impossible, what exactly is Cornell trying to accomplish?
 
If one believes in UFO aliens, does that mean one has to believe in IBWOs?

Is there anyone here that believes in one but not the other?
 
"The area is so finite, and the technology ... and the armies of people are so vast ... they will blanket the area to the point where it will be impossible to imagine if the bird is really there that it will elude this array of people," said Richard Prum, curator of ornithology at Yale University's Peabody Museum. Prum, intrigued by some of the recordings taken in Arkansas' Big Woods, said the evidence thus far is refutable.

"If they don't find it by this spring, they will have a lot of explaining to do," he said.


Houston Chronicle
December 18, 2005.
 
I can tell you one thing about Mike H. of Duluth, Minnesota he is the leading authority of birds in northern Minnesota and also one of the top birders in the state of Minnesota. I came up to northern Minnesota to witness the owl irruption two years ago and everyone in my state inform me to contact Mike H. who lives in Duluth, Minnesota. Our group hired Mike for three days and we were very pleased with Mike H as our guide. Mike has tremendous skills as a birder and knows his birds! We achieved in seeing all our target birds which included a Boreal Owl. Mike H. spotted three Boreal Owls while driving us around during the three days we hired him. We highly recommnend Mike H as a guide.

I just wanted to respond to the person who googled Tom Nelson. Tom Nelson might be a decent birder but Mike H. is highly consider to be the person to contact if you are making plans to visit Minnesota to go birdwatching. I was also very impressed of how many birders I bumped into during my travels that either hired Mike H. as a guide or know of him by field trips they attended at American Birding Association conferences that were held in Duluth, Minnesota.

Florida Birder
 
"If one believes in UFO aliens, does that mean one has to believe in IBWOs?

Is there anyone here that believes in one but not the other?"

Oh, will you just go away already? You were tiresome on Birdforum, you are equally tiresome here and you have absolutely NOTHING of value to contribute. Don't you have anything useful to do with your life, or are you content to waste it by making pointless and inane comments on other people's journals?
 
So what are you saying? I should list you as what? A Believer in UFOs and IBWOs? Not trying to me judgemental here. Just trying to get an idea of how people think about this issue.
 
Can someone please just answer me a simple question.

When I look at www.fishcrow.com, it just looks like the perfect practical joke. Is that what it is? And I'm just slow to catch on? Can someone seriously answer me on this.
 
It's a quite sad pathology, really, people who live merely to "get a rise" out of others, unfortunate ones who are so intelectually void that they can produce nothing but empty and meaningless ridicule.
 
And no, I was not talking about fishcrow, I was talking about YOU.
 
Yes, I'll grant you that but if you just look at the site www.fishcrow.com the way it's put together etc. It's just a really great practical joke.

Isn't it? Anybody know the fellow for real?
 
The joke here is you.
 
Well the real joke appears to be that so many of us are wanting to maintain an interest in what is happening with IBWO but reduced to tossing insults at eachother while we wait for word of something substantial. May could bring information of a new "sighting" but this time there will be many who will not assume a thing until they can assess the "proof". Sorry Cornell, we trusted you last spring but won't be fooled again.

Until then is there really anything to discuss? UFOs, though perhaps not germane, are as good a time-killer as anything else.
 
If you read the site (fishcrow) you will see that he is a serious scientist (PhD) who has published numerous papers and done various talks and presentations (he even shows a list of them) who currently is based at NASA's Stennis Space Center. I doubt this is a joke, he's seriously trying to document Ivory bills in the Pearl.
 
Hoo Boy!! Somebody light a match in this thread!! It's gettin deep in here.....Come on folks, the NB's are not going to be swayed, just as the TB's aren't. Let's have a little fun and be happy. And, once the 'money shot' 8x10 comes in we can all serve a nice steaming hot cup of shut-the-hell-up to the NB's.
 
You see...no one will answer why www.fishcrow.com looks like a practical joke.

I mean come on folks...someone must know the guy.

SO here is the question...is www.fishcrow.com a practical joke? Just look at the site. And if it's not, why does it look like one? Is he just having fun with us?
 
Get the hell out of here. Take your lame-ass jokes somewhere else and leave this for real discussion. You know perfectly well that M. Collins is legit and you are just being a f**khead
 
You see...no one will answer why www.fishcrow.com looks like a practical joke.

I mean come on folks...someone must know the guy.

SO here is the question...is www.fishcrow.com a practical joke? Just look at the site. And if it's not, why does it look like one? Is he just having fun with us?


Dude, does Mike owe you money or something? Did he steal your parking space at the local WalMart? What did he do to piss you off. I would think if it was a joke it would be a way slicker website then it currently is. Right now it looks like a quickly put together web journal, which is exactly what it is. Man....get a life. <\trollrant>
 
"I would think if it was a joke it would be a way slicker website then it currently is."

That appears to be the strategy of choice. Produce something so bad that no one would ever think you could be faking it, since any effort at faking would have produced something better. Take the Luneau video, for instance.
 
No. I'm not talking about how it looks. Who cares about that.

I am talking about the contents. It's set up like a perfect practical joke. "here I am floating down the creek. oh looky there nice swallow-tailed kites. got good pics. oh, and two IBWO just flew past. will try to get photos tomorrow."

I mean come on folks. Practical joke right? Doesn't anybody talk to the guy?
 
Quit being so defensive. Not everyone on here is after your goat. Just answer the question. A practical joke right?
 
Richard Feynman, the famous physicist, use to play practical jokes all the time. Some scientists really like that stuff.

I bet that's what www.fishcrow.com is. A big practical joke on all of us.
 
No it is not a joke. Mike Collins is well known personally to many people here.

Satisfied?

Now you will doubtless come up with another assinine question to pursue ad nauseum, just like you do on Birdforum.
 
In case anybody is wondering, our resident twit here is the same self-described "troll" who appeared on birdforum a few months back, with such finely-honed "birding skills" that he couldn't even tell the calls of american crows and fish crows apart. His specialty is pursuing annoying and irrelevent lines of questioning, much like a snot-nosed brat saying "why?" to everything. I guess he has moved here since everyone on birdforum put him on "ignore" so no one had to listen to his stupidities anymore.
 
I have some thoughts about Mike Collins as well and his website. First of all Mike Collins may know his math better than most people in here and most likely can balance his check book to the last penny but that means very little in the bird world.

He claims to know ALL the bird calls in North America and he's only been birding the last ten years! That is very questionable to me. Also he has run ins with the top birders in Virgina over some questionable bird sightings in Virginia. That also troubles me.

He posted on his website about Ivory-billed Woodpeckers feeding on crayfish as if these birds dunk their heads under water and flip rocks over foraging for them!

He always seems to hear Ivory-billeds on most days or sees a glimpse of one and all he has shown us is another dark blurry video that proves absolutely nothing!

Even the local listservs and local birders are not excited over his claims. The lack of enthusiam of the local birders in the surrounding area about Mike's claims/discovery is troubling. As if these locals know something about Mike Collins and thought this is another birder crying wolf.

Mike Collins is not some top birder who knows what he is doing in the field. He is basically a rookie birder with a lot of money stumbling and bumbling around the woods of the Pearl River. He refuses to sketch or take notes of the birds he seen. He lacks any skills behind the camera and of course he makes excuses because he's in a kayak but yet there are nearby shores or banks of the river to pull off and do the things that should be done to prove the existance of these woodpeckers.

I really could careless about the looks or the design of his website but if you read his journals and do some research about Mike Collins as a birder you will see he's just a rookie birder with a a lot of money. Like I said before he's the guy on the golf course with the best set of clubs money can buy but still shoots a 130 at 18 holes of golf!

Mike Collins has a lot of baggage as a birder. Sure it's admirable that he is trying to find one but again he works right next door to the Pearl River. What Mike needs is an experience birder to hold his hand around the Pearl River.
 
Mike H., You are such an anti-elitist snob
 
Finally, a real answer! Not just speculation. I thought so.

So it still might be a practical joke or just, how should I put this, incompetence?

BTW, never been on any birdforum. I do watch Texbirds for the radar info. It's really good. All should check it out.

Anyhow, I still think practical joke but I don't know the guy. What does everybody think? Now? Practical joke or incompetence?
 
Why did it take so long to get an intellegent answer on this blog?
 
Well, you've got MOST of your facts wrong.

He had a flurry of sightings when he first arrived, and very few since then.

He lives in Virginia, and is working remotely at Stennis.

Your proclamations of the truth about his video are just your opinions, and are not universal.

The incidents you keep trumping up in Virginia happened years ago when he WAS a novice.

Mike H, you have gotten to be as bad as your old friend Tom N when it comes to twisting facts, believing you have a direct pipeline to truth, and repeating (and repeating and repeating) the same accusations and slanders endlessly. Why do you have such a hardon for Mike C anyway?
 
Here's my favorite quote from www.fishcrow.com.

I saw "...a featureless black blob. After thinking about it, I realized that this is consistent with an ivorybill."

That is a practical joke if I ever heard, read, or saw one. Now if have to admit it's a joke, right?
 
Wait. Is that a true quote? I got to see this for myself.....

....oh my god, it is. What a hoot.
 
I want the Ivory bill reports to be true so bad that it might be keeping me from killing myself. I really get sad over this arguing. Mike Collin's video doesn't seem like it could be anything other than an Ivorybill.
 
And the quote in context:

"Although I focused on the wings, the head was visible in the right part of my field of view. What I saw of the head was a blur, but it appeared to be all black. I initially didn't think that I had noticed anything significant about the head--it just appeared to be a featureless black blob. After thinking about it, I realized that this is consistent with an ivorybill."

i.e. without the red and more extensive white markings of either sex pileated.

Quoting out of context to deliberately misrepresent someone's statements. That is what is meant by "intellectually dishonest."
 
Once again we see the slime, smear tactics of the "skeptics."
 
Yes, exactly. He says that a "black blob" is consistent with an "Ivory-bill". Your quote just said the same thing!

I give you the best practical joke of all time. All hale www.fishcrow.com!
 
Someone's got a sick fixation on Mike Collins and a compulsive need to attack him and to misrepresent what he says on his website. "The featureless black blob" refers to the head of the bird, not the entire bird; the head "appeared to be all black," a good IBWO field mark. This was in the context of a discussion of focusing on the wings, and observing the white trailing edge.

This fixation and compulsion to misrepresent say more about the attacker(s) than the subject of the attack, especially since this thread has nothing whatsoever to do with him.
 
I'm sorry, but can you even read? He says that the HEAD on the rapidly-flying bird appeared to be a featureless black blob, he did not say the ENTIRE BIRD was a featureless black blob.
 
But this thread has everything to do with him! Don't you see, that if you believe in www.fishcrow.com then you will believe in UFOs?

Don't you get it?
 
A black head = can't be Pileated

Skeptics really like causing people to commit suicide over this.
 
A "black blob" is consistent with an "Ivorybill".

I don't care what part of the ivorybill that applies to. It's still sick.

Or a practical joke. That's the point.
 
I know. . .maybe it was giant, leucistic pileated that happened to have a black head. Stranger things have happened, and I can contort myself all-kinds of ways to deny the obvious.
 
"Don't you get it?"

Yes we get that you are a juvenile twit who gets a thrill out of saying idiotic things that you think are clever, and who delights in stirring up discord, anger, and argument with no actual concern for fact or any real beliefs of your own. I am astnished that cyberthrush is allowing you to abuse his blog in this way; he must have the forgiveness of a saint.
 
So we agree that www.fishcrow.com is not sick.

So it must be a practical joke, yes?

Just like Richard Feynman used to do, right?

Quit getting your panties in a wad. I'm just asking. I want to know.
 
Ah, so you must be one of those birders who when you are writing up a report and you didn't see the bird perfectly, pulls out the field guide and fills in all the details you didn't really see rather than describing what you did see and admiting that you missed some details.
 
You've asked again and again and again, and you've got your answer, so p*** off.
 
"Quit getting your panties in a wad. I'm just asking. I want to know."

You have been answered. Long ago. It is not a joke. Now just shut up and move on, #$@%#$#head
 
Why the personal attacks? I have only asked questions that true scientists ask, right?

So, are we agreed that www.fishcrow.com MIGHT be a practical joke?
 
Shut Up, you stupid troublemaker.
 
No, we are agreed that you are an annoying arsehole
 
Why are you so upset with just questions? Why profanity?

Do you WANT to believe so badly that if this doesn't turn out to be IBWO that you will be depressed?
 
Yes, this bird is so fascinating and I have seen plenty of evidence that it exists. I can't see why some people seem to want the bird to be extinct just so they can be on the winning team??? Try being more sensitive.
 
But it's not about winning, is it? I mean we all lose if the IBWO is extinct, right?

But we should demand good evidence, right? Not a blob is consistent with IBWO, right?
 
Can people just SERIOUSLY look at his video and realize that since it is a real video and it shows a large crested woodpecker, and it doesn't behave/look like a Pileated it thus has to be an Ivory billed, RIGHT or WRONG
 
"Mama mama all the kids at school were mean to me WAAAA!!!!"

"Oh sweetie, what happened?"

"WAAAAAA!!!! I followed them around telling them how stupid they were and asking them all sorts of idiotic questions and then FOR NO REASON they all started yelling at me and calling me names WAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!! They are so MEAN!!! WAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!"
 
"But we should demand good evidence, right? Not a blob is consistent with IBWO, right?"

What we should demand is intellectual honesty. Taking a single quote out of context is not intellectual honesty. Nor is engaging in character assassination or spreading gossip or substituting mockery for rational discourse. Intellectual honesty means keeping an open mind and examining ALL the evidence. It also means recognizing that reasonable people may arrive at different conclusions about evidence.
 
Wrong.
 
This thread has now reached the stage where it is the electronic equivalent of monkeys throwing feces at each other in the zoo. Could someone please photograph an IBWO or have Cornell admit some doubt so that these idiots would just shut up!!
 
No, Intellectual Honestly means evaluating the evidence and discarding obvious nonsense, such as a blob = IBWO.

Am I right here?
 
F--K Y-U A--H-LE
 
Why profanity? What have I ever done to deserve that? Isn't it just possible that I am right?
 
It's just a black blob = head of a bird in flight. Of course it will look like a blob you fool.
 
It's just a black blob = head of a bird in flight. Of course it will look like a blob you fool.
 
No, Intellectual Honestly means evaluating the evidence and discarding obvious nonsense, such as a blob = IBWO.

Am I right here?

No, because you're misrepresenting both the statement and the totality of what is on the website, which is a profoundly dishonest thing to do. I suspect you know this.
 
We've made progress! Thank you!

So if a head in flight looks like a blob, why mention it? I mean it doesn't show anything, right? Certainly not an IBWO, right?
 
"So if a head in flight looks like a blob, why mention it? I mean it doesn't show anything, right? Certainly not an IBWO, right?"

Oh for krissakes...

A head that appears featureless and black is consistent with a female IBWO and inconsistent with any PIWO, which would have conspicuous red and white on it.

Jeezuss man, are you even a birder?
 
No that's not correct. A black blob is just that, a featureless black blob. It's doesn't prove anything, much less an IBWO.

Where am I wrong here?
 
"It's doesn't prove anything, much less an IBWO."

More dishonesty. No one said it proved anything.
 
But www.fishcrow.com is pointed to all the time as valid sightings.

So why is it wrong to look at his evidence?
 
"Where am I wrong here?"

Oh, in pretty much everything you have said since you first signed on.
 
But why am I wrong? That's the point. You have to be able to argue through science, right?
 
"A black blob is just that, a featureless black blob"

Please show me how a head with a bright red crest (plainly visible even when folded back) and extensive white markings would look like a featureless black blob? It is much esaier to see how a head with a black crest folded back, and only one narrow white latteral stripe would appear as a featureless black blob on a flying bird.

Seems to me you have dug yourself into a hole and are just grasping at straws for a way out.
 
"You have to be able to argue through science, right?"

Oh I just LOVE it when the folks who start out with ridicule and misrepresentations THEN get all high and mighty about the scientific method!
 
But don't you see that you've put words in www.fishcrow.com's mouth. Forget the red-crest this and so on. Concentrate on this...a featureless black blob is consistent with IVORYBILL.

Got it? Now what do you think? Is this any proof or just a great practical joke?
 
Yes, a head that appears featureless and plain black IS consistent with a female Ivorybill.

GOT IT?
 
But it's consistent with a UFO also, right?

Don't you see?
 
Yes, I see that you are an idiot incapable of engaging in rational discourse.
 
Ok, so we have established that a featureless black blob is consistent with an IBWO and a UFO, right? So it's no proof at all, right?

What else is a Featureless Black Blob consistent with?
 
"What else is a Featureless Black Blob consistent with?"

Uhh. The space between your ears, perhaps.
 
You folks seem like a nice group and I have enjoyed chatting with you (except for the profanity).

Just to bring this back on topic. How many of you have I convinced that www.fishcrow.com MIGHT just MIGHT be a practical joke?
 
It's not consistent with a UFO when it is attached to the neck of a large, rapidly flying woodpecker that is mostly black with white secondaries.

You've made your point. Not the point you intended, but you've made your point: You are a flame-baiting geek with nothing valid to contribute to this discussion, or probably any other discussion.
 
My guess would be that you have actually increased sympathy for Mr. Collins by demonstrating so clearly the sort of irrational abuse he is subject to, and helped undermine the credibility of those who might critique him more rationally. Keep up the good work!
 
OR it just might be that I have introduced a lot of people to the problems of such sightings. And it's lack of science?

Could that be?
 
"Could that be?"

Yeah right. Don't kid yourself. These matters have been discussed at length for months by far better people than you with a wide range of well-reasoned and clearly-expressed perspectives. You've introduced nothing here but an annoying and distracting background buzz, like a mosquito in the tent at night.

Please go swat yourself.
 
The reason that I say that I probably educated a lot of people is this.

When friends or acquaintances asked me if I believe the IBWO still exists, I would tell them to go to www.fishcrow.com.

To a person, they would come back to me and say "you're joking, that's not evidence" Or a couple asked if www.fishcrow.com was a practical joke.

That got me to thinking that yes it MIGHT be. What do you think?
 
"OR it just might be that I have introduced a lot of people to the problems of such sightings. And it's lack of science?

Could that be?"

You give yourself far too much credit. You seem to be barely literate (witness the first paragraph above); you don't understand the difference between evidence and proof, and you haven't honestly or intelligently articulated any "problems".
 
Why can't you argue your case without insults?

Are you depressed that the IBWO may be extinct? It's ok to feel that way. I have friends who fell bad that they can't believe it still lives.

Do you feel bad everyday?
 
No insults there, just the facts.
 
So you do feel bad? You know there are a lot of good gird conservation work that needs to be done. Are you involved in any of that?
 
"What do you think?"

For the umpteenth and FINAL TIME, NO! It is not a joke. Collins is a real person, known to real people, has been visited by and birded with real people in his study area, and the video is entirely unfabricated and interpreted BY SOME RATIONAL LOGICAL SKILLED BIRDERS as showing features more consistent with an IBWO than a PIWO, and interpreted BY OTHER RATIONAL LOGICAL SKILLED BIRDERS as showing nothing more than a blurry crested woodpecker. Such is the nature of SCIENTIFIC DISAGREEMENT. Now please just SHUT THE HELL UP and GO AWAY.

Thank you.
 
Ok, I guess it COULD be just that. But COULD it be a practical joke? What do you think? You seem to be able to argue without profanities. What do you think?
 
I think it is the best efforts of a single birder working under difficult conditions and leaves much to be desired, but shows not a trace of dishonesty.
 
That's a great honest answer.
 
Although a practical joke is not dishonest, is it?
 
The incidents you keep trumping up in Virginia happened years ago when he WAS a novice.

Mike H, you have gotten to be as bad as your old friend Tom N when it comes to twisting facts, believing you have a direct pipeline to truth, and repeating (and repeating and repeating) the same accusations and slanders endlessly. Why do you have such a hardon for Mike C anyway?


Mike Collins got interested in birdwatching in 1996. In 1998 ( 8 years ago ) he defended himself over and over on the Virginia listserv and was rather rude and snotty about his discovery of a Mac. Warbler in Wakefield Park, Virginia or near Annandale VA.

Mike Collins has a HUGE chip on shoulder if anyone dares to question him in the field. He even made some elaborate claims that Mac. Warblers move thru Wakefield Park yearly and unnotice -- until Mike Collins spotted one and now he thinks they are a regular migrant in VA.

In the last 8 years Mike Collins has traveled a lot and he either hired a local guide during his travels or he went out by himself and spotted some. (I wonder how amny were ID correctly?) Of course he claims he now knows all the calls or songs of all the North American birds in less then 10 years of birding ( QUITE THE FEAT ).

Mike Collins has also bragged about being a MIT graduate and he also reminded all of us that he is known world wide in his profession. He did this in Bird Forum and even in this blog. It's as though because he so educated and highly educated that he should NEVER be questioned about his sightings. To me that is a bunch of crap!

Mike Collins deserves all the criticism in the world. It was absolutely stupid on his part to announce he found a Ivory-billed on Bird forum and other internet site/blogs. So when I and many others went to Fishcrow.com to read about this discovery in the Pearl River all we saw were some dark blurry images of a bird. That is all!

The lesson is NEVER announce you found a Ivory-billed unless you have a photo that is crystal clear! No blurry videos or dark images. No photos that you have to squint your eyes and imagine that there is a red crest on the bird or some white hind stripes on the back of the bird.

Mike Collins did this all to himself. He should of sat down and gave it some more thought about announcing he found a IBWO on the internet. All he had as proof was a dark blurry video! Would anyone in here done the same thing? I doubt it. So Mike deserves all this crap tossed at him.

Do I have a hard on for Mike? Nope. Its just I read some of Mike's Collins posting on Bird Forum and his ego is so huge. I also read all the discussions on the Mac. Warbler on the Virginia listserv in 1998 and his postings were reeking of "you know who I am? I work for NASA. I am so well known all over the world and I graduated from MIT. I never make mistakes in the field.

So yes Mike Collins did this to himself. He brought all of this on to himself!!

Mike H.
 
BY SOME RATIONAL LOGICAL SKILLED BIRDERS as showing features more consistent with an IBWO than a PIWO, and interpreted BY OTHER RATIONAL LOGICAL SKILLED BIRDERS

Who were the experts that looked at his video? How many IBWO experts are there in North America? Do you know that for sure or are you just saying that. If there were any "well known" IBWO experts out there then why on Birding Frontiers ALL the so-called experts on that listserve dissed Mike Collins video and his website? !!

I think you have the hard on for Mike Collins.

No one cares about Mike's so-called discovery in the Pearl River and NO ONE cares about his video and his website! PERIOD! IF anyone cared than he would be part of a lot of discussions and papers about the existance of Ivory-billed woodpecker in the south but he is not part of anything! How ya like them apples?

Mike Collins even posted his sourness that no one in Lousianna or other neighboring states are chatting him up. Why? NO ONE CARES and why is that? BECAUSE HIS ONLY PROOF IS A DARK BLURRY IMAGE/VIDEO OF A BIRD THAT DOES NOT SHOW ONE ID MARK OF IBWO!!!

Mike H.
 
If you look at his website he says he has been visited by (1) a number of searchers who have been voluntering in Arkansas (2) Two ornithologists who were intrigued (3) he has had meetings with reps of FWS people from LA and MS. Some people of authority are believing him.

This argument is just making me upset and driving me towards suicide. The Ivorybill clearly does exist in several places from the evidence I have seen.
 
Mike Soap Box can go to Hell
 
There is a still shot of the bird in Mike Collin's video that I find really compelling. Eventhough the video is of such poor quality the wing markings suggest an IBWO. The proportions of the bird are also very interesting ie: neck, tail, and wing length.

If I were given a choice between the Luneau and Collins video to launch a full blown search I would choose Mr. Collins'.

Could it be considered as irrefutable proof - hardly. But it does justify further investigation.

To comment on the man and his motivation would be grossly unfair. His methods are his own and since he is working alone and not being monetarily compensated it's his choice.

To be honest I found his online journal to be quite informative and open. Some of his hypothesis are questionable though, nothing to warrant such vitriol.

I do hope he gives it another chance next season. You have to appreciate how hard an endeavour it was for one person to undertake.
 
Why arn't quality sightings considered proof, there have been many from 1999 to present in the Pearl.
 
Mike's video shows A LOT more than the Luneau video does. Including two flight sequences and the bird hitching up a branch, in classic Ivory billed and not Pileated lean back pose.
 
Mike's Soap Box:

But by your definition the Luneau video should never have been put forward as evidence because it is just a blurry video as well. But yet look at all the analysis and papers being made about it. Since Collin's has a video that shows more why shouldn't it get professionally analyzed.

Thanks
 
"Since Collin's has a video that shows more why shouldn't it get professionally analyzed."

Maybe it has.

But you have to realize this was not a Cornell sanctioned search.
 
Mike Collins's character and personality have nothing to do with this. Nor do any disputes that took place years ago. And I find it very interesting that these charges are being repeated by people all over the net. It smacks of a coordinated effort at defamation, a smear campaign. One can only wonder about the motives of people who engage in this sort of behavior. These charges, which are little more than one-sided accounts pertaining to rumor and innuendo, have nothing to do with the merits of what he's presenting now.

Mike's methods in the field, his personality, his field notes are all probably imperfect, but hey, that's human nature, and I defy anyone, including Mike from Minnesota to claim that he or she is perfect, as a birder or in any other arena. Everyone criticizes Cornell for its secrecy; Mike has put himself out there, and opened himself up to all kinds of attack, both reasoned and nonsensical. How many people have the guts to do that?

Julie Zickefoose, who certainly qualifies as a prominent person with a great deal of knowledge on the subject, has openly stated her opinion about Mike's footage. The bird in his film is a crested woodpecker that simply does not appear to be a pileated. Her expert opinion just cannot be dismissed as irrational, and no one has provided a well-reasoned rebuttal to her analysis.

I certainly wish that Mike had obtained that indisputable footage, but what he did get is convincing to me and, at the very least, deserves serious analysis and follow-up. There have been many reports from the Pearl, and the mere fact that some may find Mike's footage inconclusive does not mean that it should be rejected out of hand. I can only conclude that anyone who does so is either an enemy of the ivory-bill and of conservation in general or an egotist who is consumed by envy.
 
My thoughts exactly, Thanks for the post.

Anyway it's interesting to note that Mike refers to one of the orithologists who visited him as being a non US citizen so he couldn't get him on to Stennis. Could this be Lammertink, he is in that area.
 
"But by your definition the Luneau video should never have been put forward as evidence because it is just a blurry video as well."

Actually the Luneau video isn't of value because of its' blurriness. On the contrary it's just sharp enough to see that the bird does not in any way show any one of the accepted field marks of an IBWO.

None.
 
Luneau video has (1) too much white on the wings (2) white trailing edges (3) in more than one frame what looks like white on the back (4) to rapid a wingbeat rate (5) too BIG
 
And since Pileateds down south are smaller than up north, their wingspans are thus smaller. In AK about 65 cm, the bird in the video has a bigger wingspan.
 
Let me get this straight. We have a Julie Zickefoose vouching for www.fishcrow.com?

Well, doesn't that pretty much say more about Julie Zickefoose's credibility than it does about the authenticity of the sightings on www.fishcrow.com?

See what I mean?
 
Julie Zickefoose, who certainly qualifies as a prominent person with a great deal of knowledge on the subject, has openly stated her opinion about Mike's footage.

Julie is a artist and paints birds and landscapes for a living. Julie Z. is NOT a IBWO expert and just because she painted a picture of a IBWO for the Auk doesn't qualify her as a IBWO expert! She just gave her opinion on what she thought of Mike Collins images. If Julie Z. is a expert then I guess all of us are IBWO experts because we offer all kinds of opinions of what we see on Mike C's images.

I can only conclude that anyone who does so is either an enemy of the ivory-bill and of conservation in general or an egotist who is consumed by envy.

That is the by far the dumbest statement written so far on this blog! I would guess that many of us buy duck stamps and donate money to many conservation/environmental organizations each year BUT yet a lot of us do not support people like Mike Collins or possibly Cornell as well. That doesn't mean were against conservation. I would bet a lot of us do not want to see drilling in the artic and on the other hand a lot of us do not believe in Mike Collins. You are getting way to emotional over this Mike Collins thread and maybe you need to sit down, sip on a slurpee and read a comic book.

including Mike from Minnesota to claim that he or she is perfect, as a birder or in any other arena.

If all I had to show for my efforts in the Pearl River to prove I saw a IBWO was a blurry dark video. I would show the video to some friends of mind but NEVER on the internet! If my footage did not clearly show a IBWO then all i would be doing is opening myself for criticism. ( bad move) Mike Collins did not think nor put any thought of what kind of response he was going to get from this poor video he shot. Again Mike C. is getting everything he deserves because he made a stupid mistake in sharing this video to the world, claiming its better than the Luneau video, announcing to the world it's NO DOUBT a IBWO when in fact it's just a dark image of a woodpecker on a tree.

I have two photos that were sent to me claiming to be IBWO's. These people could of open a blog account and announced to the world they have proof a IBWO exist in Arkansas but they realize the photos are blurry and the images are not conclusive to prove it's a IBWO. These people made the right decision to not show these images on the internet.

Mike Collins gambled on these images or his video and he is losing public support based on his dark blurry video. So I do not feel sorry for Mike C. at all and nor should I give him a pat on the back for trying to prove he found one. Ifffff that bird was a IBWO on that tree then Mike C. really screwed up the chance of a life time and blew it for himself and to the birding community that is waiting for the concrete proof to come in. Then again he probably took a lousy video of a Pileated Woodpecker.

Again the lesson is do not claim you have seen a IBWO to the world unless you have a crystal clear photo to prove your discovery. PERIIIOOOD - END OF STORY!!

Anonymous said...
Mike Soap Box can go to Hell


I am married with two kids and a dog. Yep I am already there! Ha-ha

Mike H
 
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