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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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Monday, August 04, 2008

 

-- ? Imperial ? --

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Recently, an unusual number of hits to the blog have come from folks who've googled "imperial woodpecker" and been directed to my site (because of past posts on the Imperial here). Also, a couple of emailers have made inquiries to me about the Imperial. Don't know for sure why the subject is suddenly arising, though it may be in part due to a recent post (8-3-08) by Mike Collins which ran as follows:
"There exists footage of an Imperial Woodpecker, and the bird is in flight according to what I have heard. Why haven't the details been made public? The flap rate, flight speed, and flap style might shed light on the ivorybill."
I've occasionally heard/seen very loose vague glimmers about a possible Imperial sighting months ago, but nothing substantive or that I give any credence to at this point. I think Mike's reference may actually be to a supposed brief film of an Imperial in flight from the 1950's, which I believe is in the possession of Cornell. Whether they have utilized it in any way, or have any reason not to release it, I don't know.

May be worth pointing out that the Imperial Woodpecker was MUCH larger than the Ivory-billed. So even though the two species are from the same genus, the IBWO is probably actually closer to the Pileated in both size and mass (i.e. not sure if analysis of Imperial flight pattern would be all that helpful in drawing conclusions about IBWO flight pattern or not --- not to mention that it's difficult to generalize from a single short flight clip of any bird; but still, I understand Mike's interest in the clip if it exists).

Anyway, that's as much (next to nothing) as I know, so no need to inquire further here. If someone does know more about such putative ;-) Imperial footage and wants to pass info along for posting here to enlighten others, feel free.
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Comments:
IBWO and pileateds may be very close or in size or very different. It depends very much on the location of the pileated. Northern pileateds are reported to be much larger than their southern cousins.
 
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