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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






Friday, September 29, 2006

 

-- Reminders --

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Rightfully so, the Florida news has captured everyone's attention lately, but no one should forget that this winter there will also be organized searches in Arkansas, Texas, and South Carolina at a minimum; and if you time it right you can participate in at least two different states. I would hope that some level of official, organized (academic or FWS-sponsored) searching would take place in Louisiana, Mississippi, southern Georgia, southern Alabama, and western Tennessee as well, but don't know what the chances are. Probably those birders both willing and able to commit to such exploits will already be spread thin enough with just those first four states.

This year's AOU meeting in Veracruz, Mexico, begins Oct 3. Thank goodness all the Florida stuff is out on the table ahead of time so that attendees can actually have some intelligent discussion of it. What may be just as interesting as any empirical discussion of the evidence will be the more human elements, reactions, emotions, chatter, controversy, exhibited. This whole topic is such a hot potato by now, I suspect we will witness the same hesitancy (even cowardice I would say) on the part of many ornithologists to stick their necks out or take the issue seriously as has been exhibited for 50 years -- fearing to voice the minority view that Ivory-bills survive. Rather than take a proactive stance for fear it might turn out to be wrong, they'll instead sit back in a do-nothing-say-nothing, cautious, wait-and-see posture. In the meantime the life of a species hangs in the balance. It is ashame that at a time when we should be encouraging all possible reports/claims from credible sources to be turned in cynics, with their derision, negativity, antagonism, general disparagement are once again discouraging/hindering such disclosures. In regard to the Ivory-billed Woodpecker and the majority of birders/ornithologists who ought to be on its side, that old adage seems to hold forth: "with friends like these who needs enemies."
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