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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, March 12, 2009


-- A Trickle of Response --


Have received a tiny trickle of 3 email responses to my "plea" for further professional opinions on mystery bird #3, and will post at more length sometime tomorrow on one particular respondent. Am still interested in hearing from others as well.
I don't think any really new arguments (that aren't buried somewhere in the comments here) are put forth, I'll just briefly say that one European scientist finds IBWO at least as plausible as the other candidates based on all the same arguments that have been stated here; an Alaska Fish and Game official argues for normal Pileated, and his arguments are more elaborately echoed by the third individual who wishes to remain anonymous but who's judgment I VERY MUCH trust and respect, and who fairly unhesitatingly sees a normal Pileated. I will summarize this person's opinion more fully tomorrow (with quotes), while also awaiting any further input that might come in.

Many (including myself) have difficulty perceiving the normal PIWO scenario and this individual too is not saying much more than has already been offered (and now buried) in comments along the way from a few people who have put forth that notion, BUT coming from this person it means much more to me than hearing it from "Anonymous" or some "John Smith" who I don't know. The crux of course (though there are multiple issues) is how one perceives the white "shield" --- as part of the bird, or, even in Bill's demo, an artifactual component from the background sky. We won't settle it here. I can only say this person's perspective means a great deal to me, just as many were swayed by David Sibley's view of the Luneau video (doesn't mean either of them are right, but they must be taken seriously).
Truly, this is one of those classic wonderful (textbook) examples of how people can view the same given flat image so utterly differently.

NOTE: I have removed the link to a special example Pileated picture that was previously included here, because latest indication is that it was NOT an illusory-appearing natural photo, but in fact simply a human-doctored photo. [ this was a side piece of entertainment having no connection to the Erdy team evidence ].


I am sitting on the edge of my seat, waiting to see the list of "normal" Pileated field marks your very much trusted and respected source ticks off.
Red crest, black back without apparent dorsal stripes were likely two. A Pileated in the foreground would certainly tend to boost confidence in the Pileated ID.

Why the near silence on the highly significant "Marsden photo?" We now have generally accepted photographic evidence of the existence of three or more Pileated woodpeckers with one or more apparent Ivory-bill fieldmarks, but no generally accepted photographic evidence of even one living Ivory-bill in recent decades.

With the population of Ivory-bills at or near zero, critical thinking tells me that any photo that can be reasonably interpreted as Ivory-bill or Pileated is almost certainly the latter.

As predicted, the photo was poor yet there are people who believe it is an Ivory-bill. Obviously many if not all Ivory-bill reports are made by people who are sure, but shouldn't be.
This is often what the lack of a rigorous review by skeptics will look like when only pix/video evidence is presented on a particular event and proponents fail to present other data sets which can add tremendous strength to an IBWO assertion.

If all the Erdy site evidence is presented and someone carefully reviewed the totality of the evidence we may see multiple reasons to assert IBWOs are or may be present in the area.

Regardless skeptics like this should be ignored as they have failed repeatedly to address substantial submittals that included field notes, sketches, suggestive video showing multiple IBWO characteristics, acoustical data, etc.

Indeed the Luneau tape is an IBWO per AR BRC, several top notch video experts, B, Pulliam (very fine analysis)and scores of excellent scientists. The 2008 LA Pearl tape also has important implications for the relatively unexamined wing beat Hz of the IBWO AR tape.

Then of course we have the extensive data sets that come from the Choctaw. When a skeptic comes up with a theory or evidence of something that has never been observed............a PIWO(s) kenting and double knocking and having some extensive piebald pattern and appears larger with a rapid flight then he can say he has something. Until that happens they continue to be hypocritical in their faith based science that such a PIWO exists.

>>>A Pileated in the foreground would certainly tend to boost confidence in the Pileated ID. <<<

What? A common bird like a Pileated being in the frame that covers a few acres is a marginal to tremendous clue that bird 3 is a Pileated?

Sorry thats not a field mark....thats bizarre conjecture that IBWOs carry around Kryptonite-like substances that repel IBWOs.

good day
???Why the near silence on the highly significant "Marsden photo?" <<<

Please, please, stay a skeptic, in front of the computer playing with Flickr if you think the "Marsden photo" is of an actual PIWO.

It is an obvious and confirmed joke. Skeptics he is on your team....good addition to your official Luneau video reviewers, I would assume.
posted by Billy3000 at ibwo.net

"Today, the person who posted that PIWO with the apparent white saddle on Flickr (which Marsden provided links to here on the forum) confirmed to me that it is indeed a photo of a PIWO that was altered to look like an IBWO, just for fun."
Seems like some people's skepticism is kinda selective.
2:43 skepticism is kinda selective.

I think that's a good point. I think we are all selective to a degree. I didn't consider that a person would doctor up a Pileated photo to look like an Ivory-bill and then tell us it was a Pileated. Since he had said it was the same bird in all the shots, my guess (a wrong guess) was that the "shield" was some sort of reflection with the dorsal stripes some other form of illusion involving branches or something. It was a manufactured illusion and it fooled me into believing it was a legitimate one. As soon as I found out it was a fake I posted that information on another thread.

Of course I can't know that the "it's faked" post is legit either. In either case your main point is valid.
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