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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, September 02, 2007

 

-- The Ghost Bird: Jabiru? --

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It's been over a week since reports of a Jabiru visiting Mississippi surfaced... and stiiiiill the enormous, gawky, impossible-to-miss critter hasn't been relocated. Hmmmm... :

1) Rick Wright, a very credible member of the birding community, first reported the bird on the Web, BUT never saw it himself (in fact, it's not clear to me IF ANY experienced birders ever saw it); he merely received still photos of the bird from a catfish farm where the supposed bird supposedly set down supposedly on Aug 24 (and the only photo released on the Web looks like a possible Photoshop candidate).

2) After-the-fact, OTHER non-birders in the area very conveniently reported having seen the bird around other fish farms one or two weeks prior to the announcement (...but again, no established birders I'm aware of).

3) With birders flocking into the area the gee-normous bird mysteriously vanished and hasn't been re-found.


4) There are no sound recordings or feathers or DNA evidence for the bird's presence, nor so far as I'm aware, any video.

Does something smell fishy here... I mean besides the catfish farms?
Not only has a Jabiru not been seen in Mississippi in 60 years, one has NEVER been seen there.
Do I believe a Jabiru actually set down in Mississippi in August? --- YES, I do (for reasons I won't even bother with), but do I believe the evidence
presented thus far on the Web could be torn to shreds by someone skeptically-bent on doing so --- you betcha! (because skepticism is the easiest game around).

No substantial IBWO news for the moment, and likely nothing prior to last season's final summary reports being released. Several IBWO talks will be given around the country this month, so watch your local listings, and George Butler's "The Lord God Bird" documentary still scheduled for mid-Sept. theatre release. Otherwise, good time for chillin' out... except for those yet throwing conniptions over the whole potentially $27 million affair....
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Comments:
Skepticism isn't the easiest game around, the easiest game is blind faith.
 
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/08/070831-baiji-dolphin.html

How could a huge mammal that lives in a densely populated country have escaped notice? No doubt some TB fabricated the video to undo the declaration of extinction. Accept it TB's of china, this dolphin is extinct.
 
blind faith isn't always easy... ask anyone who's lost a child or lost a loved one in 9/11, or any other tragedy... faith is often tested and difficult to maintain.

As to the Bajii (dolphin) finding in China, I believe it is under further review and investigation.
 
Um, if faith is tested then it's not blind right? Faith that is tested and difficult to maintain is by definition not blind. Faith is not always easy, but blind faith is a cinch.

The Jabiru is MS is real because the bird sat there for several minutes and allowed Seymour Johnson (not a joke name even though it sounds like it) to take many pictures of it. Not only the one on Rick Wright's site, but others that were not posted online. This is no less then what is asked of those looking for Ivory-bills.

And yeah, it left, out of range birds do that. If anyone starts making Jabiru claims based on split-second glimpses and mysterious sounds, then maybe you can compare it to the Ivory-bill. Incidentally, if Seymour Johnson had done that, no one would have believed him and rightly so.
 
obviously you "trust" the authenticity of those pictures; I do to, because I trust Rick Wright (though no more than I trust Tim Gallagher and some others); but the point is, I can't prove those pictures weren't Photoshopped or taken in some locale OTHER than Mississippi, from the limited evidence I've seen; that evidence is by no means a slam-dunk -- it relies on your faith in the honesty of those doing the reporting.
Of course out-of-range birds can leave areas, but still odd that not a single experienced birder reported it from it within 100's of miles after the initial announcement.
 
The bird is still somewhere in the U.S...a moving needle in a haystack...but of course, in spite of thousands of skilled birders including skeptics and believers alike, the bird eludes us...
 
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