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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

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???

At this stage we should all agree that searching for the invisible IBWO is a waste of tax payers' money. Move on and accept that the IBWO is sadly extinct.
Anon, worry about something you actually know about, perhaps getting pixs of chickadees.

The IBWO has historically been difficult to observe with decades between sightings and especially between pictures.

Actual field scientists/outdoorsman have seen the bird and the opinions of "stay on the trail" artists or lab or museum scientists are worthless.
Hello Anonymous 8:18!
You should use a proper name!!!
Are you a field scientist/outdoorsman?
Do you know what you're talking about?
Have you seen the Ivory-billed Woodecker?
And I sincerely hope that the answer to all three questions is yes.
If so, I would love to hear the details.
All the best,
salar53 (and that's my real name too).
Are we now at the stage of accepting the extinction of the IBWO as 'self evident' or are we still 'violently opposed' to it?

And why have all those stringy reports dried up? Where are all those knocky-knocks in the choc?

When the interest wanes, so do the sightings it seems.

Sad but inevitable
Salar, Anon 18 here. Yes X 3. Unfortunately I cannot add much here. The various admittingly blurry tapes, substantial acoustical evidence, etc. are in along with several robust sightings and a few that are not available ANYWHERE in the public realm..some very current.

The sp has never been declared extinct by some of the most knowledgebale scientists and there has been a steady stream of sightings for 50 years BY EXPERIENCED observers. You must decide where the probabilities lie if you cant or refuse to get out in the field and hear, see for yourself.

The field has answers not watching this ping-pong game.

Getting pixs is a lagging indicator of presence/absence. Blurry pixs, suggestive video, acoustical encounters, robust sightings are often precursors to species being unequivocally confirmed as extant.

In my field experince the species is very rare and heteorgoneously distibuted in several million acres; seeking certain conditions. It is far from impossible to see the bird in a week or two and less so to hear it.

Suppoprting news is on its way soon..........its not about extinction.

Hello again, Anon18,
I'm thrilled that I provoked you into a response. Fishcrow, Michael Collins, has hinted recently that there is much secrecy in IBWO research.
I've been hoping, amidst a lot of gloomy news, that he is right.
Yours is the most optimistic little report that I've read in a long time.
I particularly like your reference to very recent, robust sightings.
I can't get in the field myself because (1) I live in Ireland and (2) more importantly, I have severe arthritis.
However, my best wishes are with all the searchers/researchers.
And I just can't wait for this supporting news!
"Suppoprting news is on its way soon.........."

Anyone believing that is a TRUE believer. How often do we have to hear the same drivel. "My book is due soon." "I have a photo!" "Nine pairs found in Florida!" "I guarantee a photo this search season." On and on and on.
What's wrong with a little belief/hope based on evidence anyway?
And by the way, Anonymous 7:09, just what is "suppoprting (sic) news"?
Salar, you can see the cynical words that these types throw out. Note also they never have any actual field reports. They expect some of us to tell them where to see or hear the bird as if its just another tick. Besides we don't want to be responsible for a rescue from a tipped canoe or hearing that the batteries went dead on their GPS....finally found gnawing on bark.... competing with IBWOs.

Also we do not want another Choctaw fiasco...the location on the net right during a study. IBWos PER DATA move when distrubed.....funny how animals with wings do things (RTP).

Most of these cynics are hot-line addicts, car birders, dike birders, feeder birders or others who over estimate their biological survey abilities. Have never seen one of them in the field, and I know them by name and sight, in some of the best habitats in the country....unless there was a mega-tick bird.

I have seen some good scientists and birders in looking for the IBWO..a few I just wandered into have heard and/or seen the bird.

The IBWO is not a mere tick and no we will not share specific info with just anyone who got a computer for almost graduating twelfth grade.

Its quite amusing how impossible they find it for a species to be difficult to clearly photograph when there are numerous examples of this in many taxa. Look at bairdii. Notice also how they never can address in a collective manner the sightings starting with Cruishank and Terres and continuing to Kulivan, Guthrie and others just this month.

The idea that every sighting or more than suggestive pix is in the public realm would be like pretending the '24 birds were not shot, that lumber firms eagerly await the info, that private landowners feel blessed to have this bird on their land or that conservation acquisition funds just flow on demand.

Their inability to assess the antropomoprphic complications involved with some searchs that have/do gather evidence that does not support extinction is in no way surprising.

Skeptics are mere ashes and dust...you really seem to be worried about their opinions, why? thoughts formed like common chemical reactions...rusting for example...... opinions bubbling out from keyboards and while taking pics of rare feeder birds.

Please.... to find IBWOs you must ignore all organisms with minute brains.....skeeters and carpet bound skeptics.

I find skeeters more a problem than skeptics.....their buzz means something and they are in the field.

anon 9:48 -- excellent post on this ibwo matter! it encourages me to get back in the swamp asap.

salar, if you ever make it to Arkansas, i will personally paddle you up and down Bayou de View where some of the ib sightings occurred.
I agree - that was one heartening post by anon 9:48.
And I'm pleased that someone else is tempted to get back to the search and the swamps.
Thanks for the Arkansas offer. May you continue to acquire more habitat.
And if you ever make it to Ireland, the land of John Power, Bushmills and Guinness, I'll show you around the pubs. You mightn't see a lot of birds but you'll go home leprechaun-stunned and happy!
All the best.
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