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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

Monday, March 31, 2008


-- March Ends --


A drrrrrumroll continues for Florida's Bill Smith who claims his self-published Ivory-bill book is sooooooon to appear, and now says it will have an "
accompanying disc with unaltered color pictures" to prove the authenticity of his wares to detractors (although I'm not quite clear how images on disc are any less susceptible to altering than those on the printed page?). There are possibly several things coming down the pike that I'm anxious to hear more about... uhhhh, but this isn't exactly one of 'em!

Speaking of images, Mike Collins publishes probably his last couple pics from the Pearl (La.) for this season
here, showing a bird flying beneath him while he was positioned high in a tree canopy. 2nd photo appears to show a possible trailing white dorsal wing edge (too few pixels to tell for sure what's goin' on), while 1st photo shows only the shadow of same bird upon water below as it flies through (actual bird hidden by vegetation) [Mike corrects me to note it is the bird's reflection upon water, not shadow, that is seen]. His explanation is here under March 30th entry. To my eye there are several possibilities, and not clear to me why he originally assumed this bird was a Wood Duck? [also, slightly further expanded by Mike in comment below]

Elsewhere on the Web:

For your sheer viewing pleasure some reeeally nice nature/bird images here:
http://wildnaturephoto.com/ --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I am somewhat intrigued by that second photo of Mike's, it does look like a white trailing edge on the trailing dorsal edge of each wing with a darker body in the middle. He also says there are several images from that segment showing the white trailing edge. I certainly wouldn't think that there would be several possibilities for the birds identity especially if the white is in fact there. And I think he assumed the bird was a Wood Duck only initialy because it flew like one?

The first image is not the shadow. It's actually the reflection off the water. So we are seeing the underside of the bird at that point. I assumed it was a Wood Duck because it appeared to have a duck-like flight when I spotted it coming from far down the channel. On a previous climb up that tree, a Wood Duck flew just below me right after I got up the tree but before I got the camera out. I was disappointed to have missed that shot. There's a series of interesting frames in the latter part of the video, especially when viewed on a good TV. I'm going to produce a DVD that plays back the key segment repeatedly in various combinations of enlargement and speed. If Wood Duck can be ruled out, I'll try to get back down to the Pearl soon. The recent probable and possible sightings were in the same general area, and the old hot zone is also nearby.

thanks for the clarification Mike, and duly noted above.
I forgot to mention that, although it may appear that several possibilities exist from the stills, most are eliminated by the high flap rate. The only reasonable possibilities seem to be Wood Duck and that other bird.

I looked at a photo of a wood duck in flight and the wings look significantly shorter than the bird in Mike's photos. I would love to view more enhanced photos or the video.
It's certainly ambiguous enough to provide lots of discussion. As has been every other 'recent' documentation of this bird. I don't see how you can possibly talk about ruling things in or out.

Forgive me for saying that if you gather enough images of a low enough quality you are likely to see what you are looking for. If a person can't be certain the images are of a bird, and I don't think anyone could be without accepting someone's word for it, how can anyone identify them as to species?
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