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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

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


-- Rambling --


Historically, the most active breeding/nesting period for Ivory-bills has been very irregular, making generalizations difficult. Still, the courting or PRE-nesting period, very generally Feb.-Mar., ought be the time of greatest activity and vocality. One may recall that the entire Arkansas excitement originally began with February sightings of "Elvis." Luckily, this is also a time of bare trees and better visibiity. Thus, hope for detection begins to increase around mid-Feb. Once the birds actually go to nest, they are likely more quiet and secretive, although if nestlings ensue there is the need for increased foraging flights (one may als
o recall that several of Cornell's other encounters occurred in April) --- moreover, as often noted, the most likely way to fully document the species will be by locating an active nesthole. So, as in prior years, the most interesting part of the search season is yet to unfold... but then, we've been postulating that for 2 years.

In 2005, K. Dean Edwards on the Tennessee birding listserv suggested that as long as researchers were listening to tapes of swamp sounds (for IBWO kents and double-knocks) they might as well additionally listen for the call of Bachman's Warbler, another extremely rare or extinct bird that shared the habitat of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker. To some, even the Carolina Parakeet is not completely out-of-the-question as a possible find during a thorough check of potential Ivory-bill habitat. The Auburn folks claimed a cougar (not extinct, but very rare) sighting during their excursions in the Chocatwhatchee. Throw in botanists, entomologists, mycologists, and other specialties and no telling what'all might be discovered during careful searches of remote IBWO areas given enough resources and expertise. The natural world, even in the U.S., is likely far from fully catalogued.

Your observation that while looking more closely for one creature, others may also be found, is so true.
I find that I rarely "find" what I set out to look for--but always find MORE!
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