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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."

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"All truth passes through 3 stages: First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident."

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Friday, May 23, 2008

 

-- Approaching Summer --

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Couple of e-mailers inform me that official searches continue in certain areas at least into next month, and one of them suggests, since I've lately been posting some historical info, mentioning the tree species IBWOs were most often observed nesting in.
So, again with the precaution that Tanner's data is based on a very limited sample size, most Ivory-bills historically in Florida were found to nest in cypress trees (both live and dead, and most often bald cypress). Outside Florida, with the exception of a few reports of birds nesting in pines, Ivory-bills were observed nesting in a variety of hardwoods: sweet gum, elm, red maple, oaks. Nests tended to be 40-70 ft. off the ground.

Again, it is somewhat ironic that most IBWO searches take place in the winter and during the breeding season when the birds were known to be the most quiet and hardest to find, sometimes traveling great distances, and then end by summer when forest visibility is much reduced (and human safety/comfort more compromised as well), but the birds move in family groups that might be more apparent.
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Elsewhere:


Compelling author Richard Preston ("The Hot Zone," "The Wild Trees," et.al.), has a
new volume of essays on diverse scientific topics out entitled "Panic In Level 4: Cannibals, Killer Viruses and other Journeys to the Edge of Science." Ahhhh yes, the edge of science, great place to hang out ;-)
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Comments:
Just to clarify - Cypress is a known nest tree in Louisiana as well. 2 out of 3 nest trees identified as to species by McIlhenny in the Avery Island area were cypresses. In at least one case the same cypress was used as a nest tree in 2 consecutive years. It is also worth noting that he stated that "the nest is generally placed in a cypress or tupelo gum tree."
 
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