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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

Thursday, June 29, 2006


-- GISS --

I've noticed, with some interest, that 2 of the newest and more highly acclaimed birding volumes hitting the bookstores recently both focus on the so-called "GISS" approach to bird identification: "general impression of size and shape," also known popularly as the 'jizz of a bird' (color, movement, behavior, also come into play). Both books, Crossley et.al's The Shorebird Guide, and Pete Dunne's Essential Field Guide Companion, have been favorably reviewed, and in a sense downplay the traditional emphasis on Peterson-like field marks to hone in on (although certainly still important)
for ID'ing birds.
I bring all this up because it once again plays to my contention that the vast majority of visual bird-identification, is consciously or otherwise, done in a GISS-type manner, and that the solid 'impression' of seeing an Ivory-bill by a number of competent/credible Arkansas sighters (experienced with Pileateds) carries with it as much or more weight than the specific field mark details over which so much unresolvable debate has been expended.

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