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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.

Web ivorybills.blogspot.com

"....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, July 13, 2006


-- Speaking of Nestholes --

In response to my Wed. post someone emailed me (I think they were being facetious, but not sure) that they realized I HAD TO post that disclaimer to misdirect people and quash any info about the discovered nesthole from leaking out too soon!...

Anyway, nest/roostholes are actually worthy of further discussion, because the absence of such is one of the strongest elements in the skeptics' arsenal. One can explain away the lack of verifiable sightings or photos or video or auditory encounters over the years, or lack of feathers or carcasses, but the lack of an active nest or roosthole (which can't move and which is the one thing that would lead to those other things) is troubling; troubling that in 60 years no one has, by sheer accident, come across an active nest/roost given that adult IBWOs would have to spend a couple of months out of the year going back-and-forth working on such cavities and caring for young once they arrive on the scene (the actual incubation period is more likely a time of great quiet and secretiveness), and such a site would be a hub of much IBWO activity. The simplest, but saddest, explanation may be that the total number of IBWOs remaining is so slim (even if stable) that the number of possible cavities to be found, relative to the amount and depth of habitat to be searched, are absolutely miniscule. Additionally, unlike the territory entered for foraging and dispersal, nest and roost sites may reside in the very remotest, least human-accessed parts of habitat. Even if found, such holes are likely out of reach for easy inspection, and would require continuous day-long surveillance for confirmation, something that was not practical before the advent of automatic camera set-ups. Nest and roost sites thus remain in many ways the ultimate crux of the issue, with so much else being attributable by skeptics to smoke-and-mirrors. And when one is finally found and videotaped... well, THEN WHAT???!

I think that the reason that no active nests have been found, is that they may be located on private property and the owner refuses to allow access to that property.

On the one hand people will say the above is a convenient "out," on-the-other-hand it is a worthwhile reminder that by no means is all IBWO habitat under Federal ownership (just most of what we hear about), but much remains in private hands with little or no accessibility.
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