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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

Friday, August 04, 2006


-- Pre-think --

Recent TV news segments have recounted how 10 years ago inept FBI agents took the easy, convenient route
(based on virtually no evidence) of pursuing an innocent Richard Jewell as the Atlanta Olympic Park bomber, rather than undertake the necessary homework to identify and catch Eric Rudolph who would turn out to be the real culprit and survive 7 more years of Federal blundering before finally being captured by a rookie local N.C. police officer. Therein lies a textbook case of false assumptions, narrow thinking, and the subjugation of reason, evidence, and responsibility to feeble presumptions. For lack of a better term, I'll call this "pre-think," when folks use ill-substantiated preconceptions to draw conclusions rather than engage in the legwork necessary to find the truth (kind of like our current Neo-Con leaders do in establishing policy prior to, and unencumbered by, the thought process ; - ) ...Today's Ivory-bill skeptics fall (or saunter sheep-like?) into the same category, narrowly, lazily stuck on notions spoon-fed to us since the 1940s. The claimed 'definitiveness' of James Tanner's study and resultant clamor of 'extinction' are powerfully biasing and presumptive notions if one allows them to be, impeding an objective, open-minded consideration of the full panoply of evidence out there... from the past, the present, and in all likelihood, still to come.

I'm a believer but until we can obtain a picture or more importantly a roost hole, there is always going to be doubt. 60 years and counting for this case to be solved. Thats what keeps me checking this blog daily and hoping against hope that the ghost bird still flies.
"60 years" is one of the great myths here -- if you combine all the serious searching put in over that time you're probably only talking about 4-5 yrs. of searching, and that spread thinly out amongst a few key areas. Apparently folks think that by sheer chance the bird should've been come across over a 60-yr. period... and, oh yeah, according to claims, it has been, dozens of times.

Not only has it been seen many times, but even when extremely detailed field marks(1) are listed(2), it seems many(3) skeptics prefer to over look such notes.

Such detailed notes have existed before the rediscovery in Arkansas and the recent books that have been published. Despite this, many skeptics prefer to say “anyone could have created such notes” without considering the time frame from when these notes have existed, or that the current books had not been read when the notes where created (yes, I am specifically referring to my notes).

I had really hoped that much would change with the rediscovery, but it seems nothing has changed at all.

I do not dispute those who question or doubt with constructive criticism or legitimate well thought out questions, but there are many that dismiss totally out of hand without looking at the overall picture of all data collected over the years.

sincerely, Steve Sheridan

(1)-in absence of photos
(2)-some of which are not listed in most field guides/books
(3)-but I do acknowledge, not all
"60 years" is one of the great myths here

How about "60 years since it was conclusively photographed in the U.S."? Is there any other currently extant bird in the U.S. that we can say hasn't been photographed multiple times within the past 60 years? (Both Bachman's Warbler and Eskimo Curlew have been photographed within that time frame.)

Can you see why people then have trouble excepting that it isn't extinct?
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