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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






Saturday, June 28, 2008

 

-- What Next? --


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With the posting of Cornell's latest summary report the summer may proceed with little Ivory-bill news of note (...no telling what I might employ to fill up post-space from week to week 8-\ --- other bird stuff, cognitive science, politics, quantum chromodynamics, pictures of nude wombats... or, all of the above...?) Oddly, the past couple years there has actually been MORE IBWO internet chatter during the summer months than during the winter search season when things are more hush-hush, despite more going on. Doubtful that will be the case this summer.

While much habitat remains to search, one presumes that a lot of the best habitat has by now been covered adequately enough that more good, credible sightings (if not even an irrefutable photo) ought to have been attained. The science is being worked through; science that had never previously been carried out for this species. Points of hope and intrigue remain, while overall probabilities and optimism dim.
All Ivory-bill reports from knowledgeable, experienced observers need to be evaluated seriously, on a case-by-case basis (not lumped together in some sort of generality). Should no conclusive photographic evidence be obtained in the next year, the worst result will be the lack of seriousness (even derision) which future IBWO claims will suffer in many quarters. That would be the most unfortunate legacy of another year of fuzzy or no evidence, as we head straight back to the days of Mason Spencer.

An emailer asks about details of the "randomized" search protocol referred to previously. I haven't read the actual protocol, but my understanding is that it involves assigning searchers on any given day to randomized blocks within a search grid, without regard for which blocks may actually have the best habitat or the most sightings, sounds, or signs associated with them; i.e. within a given search region all areas are treated equally, instead of concentrating efforts and manpower in the most promising blocks. (If anyone wishes to clarify the protocol more fully, in either a positive or negative light, feel free to write.)

Ohhhh... and here's a picture of a nude wombat.
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