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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 18, 2006


-- That Magic Guy (+addendum) --

I'd been trying to avoid all this but for anyone not already aware of it, "Bill 'Magic Guy' Smith" has long claimed Ivory-bill finds in Florida and has now posted a fuller-sized version of his controversial photo from many months ago here:


His no-longer-active website is here:


And if you haven't been following the current debate on BirdForum (Ivory-bill 'formerly Updates' thread) you can go here and read backwards to try and to play catchup on Bill's claims.


I remain highly skeptical of his picture and reports for reasons I won't elaborate, but am glad to see he is at least finally taking time to defend his position publicly and thereby possibly persuading myself and other doubters of his unusual claims at some point. But I place the links here only for my readers' interest and so they can make up their own minds, NOT as an endorsement of his claims which I don't find credible thus far
(though I'd be thrilled to be wrong on this), and which will likely be made somewhat moot in the near future anyway.

Also, on another BirdForum Ivory-bill thread 'Insights and Current Reports,' for any obsessive-compulsive folks not already aware of it, there is ongoing discussion/analysis of Mike Collins' latest video claims from his Pearl River search last season:


or, go directly to his site: http://www.fishcrow.com/winter06.html

ADDENDUM: I think I'll carry this one step further -- "Bill" has repeatedly indicated contacts with Fla. state officials (FWS and/or others) who are aware of his claims and know of the presence of IBWOs and may in fact even have their own photos. I would be interested... needless to say... to hear from any such official through email (confidentiality assured) who can verify the agency he/she works with, and who has met with Bill and is willing to vouch for the credibility/veracity/validity (whatever) of Bill's claims: cyberthrush@wildmail.com
Or, any such official who has met with Bill and cares to pass along information otherwise may also write.
Bill certainly has his moments on BirdForum, and he definitely isn't one for scientific process. This would be alot easier if it were Jerome Jackson reporting what Bill is. That said, Bill is now providing alot more details than he was before. If Bill were committing ornithological fraud, I think it would be hard for him to keep his story straight at this point, but it seems to add up.

If Bill is, in fact, familiar with a quantity of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers in Florida, what he has learned could prove quite valuable toward the conservation of the species. In that event, Bill should be treated with respect by the broader birding and ornithological communities so that he will be more forthcoming with details, whatever those may be.
"which will likely be made somewhat moot in the near future anyway." Cyber Quote

Could you put a percentage to likely?

And near future is that 1,2,6 months a year or more.
I would guess some things will be disclosed within 5 weeks, but certainly by Oct. 8, according to the timetable as I understand it.
Looks like his 'no-longer-active website' has been de-faced ... What happened to the IBWO Pic?
don't know what the "de-facing" is all about, but the pic is still available at the above-given URL (through BirdForum):

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