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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

Wednesday, December 31, 2008


-- End Of Year --


Wheeeeeeww... glad to kiss this year good-bye.... ;-)

And by way of yearly wrap-up, at this time of top ten lists, a rough slate of my own 10 semi-favorite Ivory-bill posts from the year just passed:

1. Close Encounters of the Bird Kind (from April)
2. Tanner Redux (May)
3. Say What? ( Jan.)
4. Population Stasis (July)
5. Sunday Contemplation (Dec.)
6. Thangs That Be a Buggin' Me ( June)
7. The Natives Are Restless (July)
8. Schrodinger's Cat (Feb.)
9. Birder's World Compendium ( Jan.)
10. Dogness ( April)

And a couple of NON-Ivory-bill-related posts I also enjoyed:

Obama Victorious... You Betcha
Science At The Edge (Jill Bolte Taylor)

Happy, Healthy, Brighter
2009 Everyone!.....


My favorite ivory-bill post of the year was by dave_in_michigan at BirdForum. He took on Louis Bevier, who was at the time slamming Mike Collins and had just answered a few questions about his own Pileated Woodpecker videos. Here is what dave_in_michigan posted:


You've claimed that you had PIWO data at or above Collin's reported 7.5 Hz:

>>> Originally Posted by Louis Bevier: I have measured rates of Pileateds in flight that match or surpass the birds in [the Luneau and Collins] videos... <<<

...but now your "average" of 7.5 does not sound accurately representative, if the rates are clearly dropping every half second from launch: 8.8 => 7.6 => 6.0 and then "appeared to maintain its wing beat rate" for the rest of the three seconds... What then, 6 Hz for the next 1-1/2 secs? Seems to fall a bit short of your claim of matching the Hz in Collins' video.

>>> Originally Posted by Louis Bevier: They are not best suited, like the Luneau video, to accurately measuring flapping rates (movement too rapid). <<<

What???? Then why in the world do you keep refering to them as evidence of high PIWO flap rates???

>>> Originally Posted by Louis Bevier: I haven't put up the videos but may after I get more this summer and fall. <<<

Phhht! C'mon, Louis. Don't be hypocritical now. You gave Collins this tweak:

>>> Originally Posted by Louis Bevier: I hope Mike Collins has offered his original field notes and raw video for archive and independent examination. <<<

I asked Mike for a copy of his video, and he sent it to me, no problem.

You're stuff's been out there for a much longer time, and you keep refering to your analysis of it, but with no opportunity for others to examine the raw data behind it. How 'bout you step up and share your raw data for independent examination.

Either that, or stop touting it until you're ready to do so.


My second-favorite post of the year was by Louis Bevier, who had a very succinct response to dave_in_michigan:


Did I say succinct? The guy dropped off the planet.
just as a note, Louis' IBWO website remains up at:

I'm certain we'll be hearing more from Bevier. Although I did not like his stance and felt that he deserved some of what he dished out, I did appreciate the mostly cordial exchange between him and dave_in_michigan and I think there continues to be value in airing out both sides of a story. Bevier was certainly much less acidic than Tom Nelson and came across as much less arrogant than some of the Europeans whose names I won't mention.
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