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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

Friday, October 31, 2008


-- In Other News --


Dr. Irene Pepperberg's 'memoir' of her life with Alex the African Grey Parrot, "Alex and Me,"is now out in bookstores.

2008-09 Duck Stamps available for purchase here.

Taking note of the near insurmountable travails that will face the next U.S. President (passed along from the current wretched Administration), columnist Hal Crowther concludes a recent essay, simply and aptly stating, "God help Barack Obama if he wins the election. God help us all if he loses."

And I'll end with the same verbatim quotes
from T. Gilbert Pearson, one of America's premier 20th century naturalists/ornithologists, that I used in a blog post here exactly one year ago today:
"The supreme moment of my life as a bird student came in May, 1932, when in a great primeval forest in northern Louisiana, I saw, for the first time, a living ivory-billed woodpecker... The ivory-bill is decidedly larger than the pileated, and this difference in size is very apparent, as we had ample opportunity to observe, when by chance birds of both species fed at the same time on a tall decayed stump within 80 feet of our hiding place."

"The reduction in abundance in this species is due most probably to persecution by man, as the species has been shot relentlessly without particular cause except curiosity and a desire for the feathers or beaks."

Saturday, October 25, 2008


-- Time Slogs On --


A tad annoying of course to still not have an official overall summary released of last year's search. I believe it's safe to say that possible IBWO sounds were heard and/or recorded in at least four states, and sightings were made in at least two of those states (of course more sightings if you count those from individuals not officially part of the "Recovery Team" ). Whether the summary delay is due to the chilling effect critics have had on the public reportage of findings that are short of definitive, or reflective of a low-level of credence attributed to results from last year, don't know??? Also worth noting that
last season Cornell's "mobile team" again named additional habitat areas in need of more thorough exploration. While it's disappointing to see the manpower put forth thus far yielding such a small number of possible sightings/sounds, it is entirely false to say or imply that NO evidence has thus far been found, as is sometimes reported.

It is possible there will be no lengthy summary released, but simply a brief summation of last year tacked onto a forward-looking document for the upcoming season released shortly before the new season gets underway. There seems to be much disagreement on how best to even proceed at this point in terms of specific techniques, protocols, methods, assignment of personnel, etc. as the Government (and other agencies) enter their likely last organized effort in the field, unless the species is photographically documented in the next six months.
Also, I've seen no further word on the additional analysis Cornell did earlier this year on the Luneau video attempting to compare a digitally-created Ivory-bill to the real bird in that video... inconclusive, no match found, or, yet to be published???

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


-- Tad More on the Search --



Monday, October 13, 2008


-- "Backs Against A Wall" --


Further brief piece on Cornell's scale-back in Arkansas

I assume that there will still be some sort of "mobile search team" activity this year, but article doesn't say. Also, assume that some official searching will continue in at least 2-3 other southern states, besides AR., this season, but again specifics not given. Nor has an official USFW summary from last season yet been released.

Friday, October 10, 2008


-- Cornell Scaling Back in AR. --


Arkansas Public Radio segment here confirming that Cornell will be scaling back it's efforts in Arkansas this coming season (although efforts by other agencies will continue). No mention made of the specific search plans for other states at this point.


Wednesday, October 01, 2008


-- West Virginia Tragedy --


Still no major IBWO news (...Bobby Harrison does report, after almost a year wait, finally getting permission to utilize decoys in the search for IBWO). Most of what I've been reading lately about birds in general, especially on the conservation front, is extremely pessimistic stuff, even though often quite predictable. For one rather more unpredictable and bizarre story, this dispiriting news item out of West Virginia:


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