"....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.”
"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, October 05, 2006
-- Those Nonchalant Florida Birders --
Laura Erickson, at the Veracruz conference, posted some thoughts/impressions on her blog following Dr. Hill's and Mennill's presentation at yesterday's proceedings: http://www.birderblog.com/post.php?id=1591
I think it worth pointing out that while in front of such a professional gathering Dr. Hill must speak modestly and of the need for yet further (photographic) evidence to prove the Ivory-bill's existence, but there should be no doubt of his own personal certainty that he, Tyler Hicks, and Brian Rolek have all seen one or more Ivory-bills in the Florida Panhandle.
Maybe Floridians are just more accustomed than most folks to dealing with unusual and rare bird reports, or more particularly, maybe they're just more accustomed to hearing Ivory-bill rumors over the decades than other birders... It was somewhat interesting, during the months prior to the official Florida Ivory-bill announcement, when rumors were bubbling in many quarters, to see that nothing at all was showing up about it on Florida birding listserv postings. Now, even since the official announcement, relatively few Florida posters have concerned themselves with the woodpecker excitement in their own backyard. Since there have been many previous purported sightings in the Panhandle over time, I'm a bit surprised that the listserv has not seen a small rush of folks piping up to say that they too (or their friend, or brother, or mother-in-law) thought they saw an Ivory-bill in the Panhandle back in such-and-such a year but never reported it, or maybe such claims are being turned in through private channels (or it may simply be explainable by the small % of Fla. birders who actively participate in the Fla. listserv). In any event the nonchalant, unruffled reaction from Floridians, is still much preferred to the cynical, derisive tone emitted from some other quarters (...where a lot of folks are so gosh-darn sure of themselves they post under the "anonymous" handle). And just maybe if we ever truly know the total number of Ivory-bills throughout the state of Florida, it will indeed be something to be nonchalant about.
On a sidenote, Mike Collins posted this photo of some rather unusual bark-scaling in the Pearl River area (La.) yesterday; an Ivory-bill on meth. perhaps, or an Ivory-bill on Matisse???