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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

Saturday, August 25, 2007


-- The Votes Are In --


The guesses for the 3 Choctawhatchee birds' quiz in Birding Magazine have now been published in the latest issue here:


Not unexpectedly, there's no agreement on what the birds are, and indeed I was somewhat surprised by the sheer variety and range of responses. No one has a real clincher argument for their case, and many seemed to base their guesses on "first impression" sorts of arguments, although some put forth a few more technical reasons (I had thought someone with more precision photo-analysis techniques might actually try to measure wing-to-body, wing-to-tail, or similar type ratios, but this didn't happen --- the photo is probably just too vague). Finally, a bit surprised that most of the biggest names in American birding are missing from even taking a stab at it --- maybe an indication of just how inadequate the photo is for identification purposes.

Overall, 16 guesses centered on one or another waterbird, while 11 guesses went to woodpeckers, either PIWO or IBWO. Several folks did in fact think Ivory-billed Woodpeckers had been captured on film. Besides Pileated Woodpeckers, other guesses included a psitticine of some sort, Wood Ducks, Mallards, Anhingas, Cormorants, Bitterns, Cattle Egrets, Green or Night Herons. At least one individual noted, as I have previously, that it is not certain that the 3 birds are even the same, the top bird possibly being different from the other two.
My own loose first impression, way back, was Night Herons, and since I am almost always wrong on these type photo quizzes that can probably be ruled out ;-)
Anyway, a fun exercise... (now if we can just find the tree cavity these birds came out of ;-))

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