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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






Sunday, August 12, 2007

 

-- AOU IBWO Summary --

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Chuck Hagner from Birders' World Mag. summarizes the Auburn presentation at AOU (sightings, sounds, blurry video) on Saturday here:

http://bwfov.typepad.com/birders_world_field_of_vi/2007/08/ivory-bills-in-.html


It will no doubt lead to more of the identical repetitive redundant (did I say repetitive) internet discussion that has floated around for the last 2 years --- it's all been said/argued before. Skeptics have set the bar at a clearcut photo or video (or carcass), so that is what we must continue to wait for.
Apparently, the old Auburn video will finally be posted on the Web soon, but not expected to unmuddy the waters anymore than the Luneau version did. It is possible that even at this point we are still nearer the starting gate of the search for Ivory-bills than we are near the finish line.

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Comments:
The Choctawhatchee riparian corridor has very few puddle ducks away from the actual river at any time of the year and at certain times of the year none away from the river surface unless they want to be alligator food.

During 30 to 80 mile paddles/hikes I have taken you will get 50 to 200 Wood Ducks on the river and during drier stretches the ducks, 95% Wood and 5% Mallard, are forced to the river.

The Choc is not good or even marginably acceptable habitat for puddle ducks wintering, migrant or resident. There is little appropriate wetland cover accept for the Salix thickets on the river edge and a few oxbow marshes with resident alligators.

It has minimal (less than .05% in area) emergent wetland habitat with standing water with no trees and even that small amount dries up in the corridor at certain times of the year accept right along the river.

Comparing density of paddling ducks of the Choctaw to coastal emergent wetland areas of thousands of contiguous acres is.........you choose the word that relates a wrong assumption from someone who has definitely never visited the Choctaw or the panhandle.

DKs, if even weak imitations of any Campephilus' resonant DKs are much rarer than the hz of DKs reported by Auburn IMHO. A blog bogged birder, marginally experienced (like most of them are), might have a problem in differentiating a duck wing DK from a Campephilus but certainly good birders can't make that mistake.

There never seems be a pair/group of puddle ducks seen flying away or found in the Choctaw or elsewhere after investigating the source of a resonant and powerful Dks, sometimes coming from an above grade angle in a forested area....never.

There have also been reports at least from AR of ducks responding to one another with Dks...now thats a knock knock joke.

SFTV
 
Every video has the potential to provide new insight into this species. I have only viewed Auburn's video once. It was very interesting, but I wasn't able to digest it all in one viewing and look forward to its release. To illustrate how it can take time to digest videos, I just discovered something interesting in the video that I obtained in the Choctawhatchee back in January. This is updated in a new section that compares my Pearl and Choctawhatchee videos here:

http://www.fishcrow.com/winter06.html

Mike Collins
 
SFTV said:
There never seems be a pair/group of puddle ducks seen flying away or found in the Choctaw or elsewhere after investigating the source of a resonant and powerful Dks, sometimes coming from an above grade angle in a forested area....never.

Well, I might postulate that puddle ducks in the "Choc" have evolved super-wary habits due to their persecution by hunters in the area. Perhaps they have even altered their habitat preferences to some extent in order to avoid hunting pressure. Perhaps they make their distinctive quacking calls less frequently, because hunters use those calls to find them--instead, they have taken to communicating with wing knocks. Nobody can disprove this theory. (Gosh, where have I heard this before? I can't quite place it.)

I will add, too, that if you do not buy my theory about extremely wary puddle ducks, that no Ivory-billed Woodpeckers have been seen flying away from the source of double knocks either!
 
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