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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

Thursday, January 29, 2009


-- Hard and Soft Science --



If ornithology were one of the "hard" sciences, the focus would be on saving the ivory-bill from extinction rather than stupidly arguing about it. There is a dire need for reform in this softest field of science.
Finding and identifying birds is a skill, nay an art almost. Not particularly a science.

Some scientists have proven what abysmal birders they are.

And then like good scientists, they've tried to cover it up with numbers.
Interesting that many of these "abysmal birders" are permitted to take part in yearly bird counts and never have their reports questioned, yet are magically transformed into 'abysmalness' upon reporting an Ivory-bill.
crappy birders routinely mis-identify birds, possibly most times they go out. People let it slide as it's not worth upsetting people over. When it's a mega-important bird people have a less flexible approach and point out said crappiness

And, the large majority of IBWO sightings are from real crappy birders, even many of those from universities. Perhaps most of those from universities. And before a knee-jerk reply I'll just let you know that I find confirmation of my own view of the subject, in the numbers of IBWO known to be extant at present and therefore regularly encountered and photographed etc. Like those numerous pairs that were in the Choc.

Show me some maths that counters that rubbish.
Very good birders routinely mis-identify birds, possibly most times they go out. People let it slide as it's not worth upsetting people over. When it's a mega-important bird, good birders take an even more cautious approach.

And a solid number of IBWO sightings are from real good birders, including some from universities. And before a knee-jerk reply, I'll just let you know that I find confirmation in the number of very good, cautious birders who either publicly or privately concede that they saw something they never expected to glimpse in their lifetime. Your own view of the subject is tainted by your personal anger, sarcasm, bitterness. It irks you that others can't accept your own self-righteousm, arrogant views. Time and continued effort, not your superior logic, will eventually show whether there are numerous pairs in the Choc.

Show us some maths that support your rubbish.
Yet more blather with no substance

If they saw it, it will be around - if they mistook something, it won't. These birds are never seen again. Work it out.

Time and logic has shown what's in the choc. It's over, ended, finito.

Apart from vain attempts to save careers and reputations.
No maths?
Cy, why do you still let all these people who don't even care to identify themselves scribble their never-ending infinitely repetitive "Sez you!" "Oh yeah? Sez you!!" arguments all over your blog?
What! you don't find yourself endlessly enlightened and entertained, Bill???
hey, don't begrudge us Bill

even shooting fish in a barrel can be fun
according to Bill, some of you have been calling it CamPEphilus, which makes it just that little bit better!

Who are the "good" birders mentioned in the fifth post? In a merit/results based system, those birders who manage to see the Ivory-bill (perhaps the most difficult challenge in birding) would be regarded as the best.
I don't think it really matters whether "top birders" were to see the bird. If some of the best known and most respected birders, like Tom Nelson, Ilya Maclean, Tim Allwood, and Amy Lester--not to mention lesser-known others like David Sibley, Louis Bevier, Michael Patton, Chris Elphick, Jerome Jackson, and Martin Collinson--saw an Ivory-billed Woodpecker, only idiots would believe them if they failed to get an irrefutable photo or video.

I also take much comfort in the fact that it's the "top birders" who are the ones dismissing IBWO reports through their publications in Science, Auk, BMC-Biology and other venues. This contrasts sharply with those who are actually seeing and publishing about IBWOs, all of whom are scientists seeking glory and money who are, sadly, inexperienced birders at best. We certainly can't trust the opinions of scientists; thank God we have "good birders" to safeguard us from them!
You can't trust anyone who has claimed to have seen an IBWO


the lot of em. 'good birders' or 'scientists' or whatever.

that's why there are only ever 'claims'.
Good points, Smallwood.
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