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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.

Web ivorybills.blogspot.com

"....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

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


-- In Memoriam --


In these days of slow Ivory-bill news, another diversion today... apologies in advance to those who only stop by here for IBWO news, or who have little interest in cagebirds:

Since the announcement last Friday of "Alex" the African Grey's sudden death I've watched with much interest the reactions of people as the news spread outward in concentric circles far and wide.
Virtually every major news outlet has covered the story, and Alex just had his own obituary in the NY Times, a bird mind you; and on a day when Congressional hearings are reviewing the most important political story of the moment (the Iraq War and the American 'surge'), and also a day (Sept. 11) that is the anniversary of the worst attack ever on American soil, what is the most emailed story on both the NY Times and NPR websites (last time I checked): the death of Alex!! Meanwhile, on a 'Yahoo Group' memorial listserv for Alex, 100's of messages of condolence and grief stream in each day. It must be of some major comfort to Dr. Irene Pepperberg (his keeper of 30 years), who likely never imagined the number of people her work and her companion had touched.

Those of us who bear a strong innate interest/fascination with birds, often feel a bit oddball living amongst a majority whose passion tilts towards dogs or cats, or even inanimate objects like cars (do we have a gene mutation?); so it is heartening to witness this outpouring of shared emotion in such a public way over a bird; we do have company afterall. Be they parrots, or soaring raptors, or hummingbirds at our backyard feeders, or quacking ducks, or city pigeons bobbing for morsels at our feet, birds are wondrous creatures to behold, and their lives enrich ours.

To Dr. Pepperberg: may the profound grief engulfing you, be ever-so-slightly diminished by the multitude of people sharing it with you. And to Alex, wherever you are, may your spirit fly free in a place where rainbows shine, joy abounds, and Carolina Parakeets and Ivory-billed Woodpeckers still flap and sail in the breeze, right alongside you.

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