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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.
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"....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, April 01, 2009

 

-- Happy Anniversary David! --

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As some commenters below noted, today is actually the 10th anniversary of David Kullivan's celebrated sighting of 2 Ivory-billed Woodpeckers in the Pearl River region of Louisiana back in 1999; the claim that in a real sense initiated the current widespread interest in the species (from the mid-1970's to 1999 was a relative lull in IBWO interest). So probably some value in commemorating that anniversary. (Kullivan, by the way, has served in a supporting role on the current US Fish and Wildlife IBWO Recovery Team.)

Most of the original newspaper accounts on the Web of his encounter are gone (news stories often only stay up a limited time), or were just brief synopses. But I did finally stumble on an archived bird listserve post that included a verbatim local newspaper report, as well as some follow-up from the time period. If you enjoy re-living the past... :

http://www.ibiblio.org/pardo/birds/archive/archive3/msg00406.html
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Comments:
Seriously? Kullivan's sighting was on April 1st? Fascinating!
 
He didn't report it on or even near april 1st so that is a lame reason to not believe him. Unless anyone has spoken to him or was privy to the subsequent "interogation" it is arrogant to attack his integrity or intentions. Who knows if he saw what he thinks he saw. Only he does for sure. Nothing wrong with not believing he saw them but no one has the right to call him a liar unless they have first hand knowledge of him or the event.
 
Actually David Kulivan reported seeing IBWOs on two different days in 1999, April 1st and December 27, 1999 [ see http://losbird.org/los_news_189_00feb.htm ].
Notice also that Mike Collins reported hearing a long sequence of "kents" on February 2000, just a few miles from the location of Kulivan's April sighting.

Dalcio
 
The Kulivan sightings were legitimate.

The Lewis photos are bonafide.

Both good men.

If you don't care for my absolutes, tough.
 
What I meant by not reporting them on april 1st was this: I had a conversation by telephone with him and he did in fact say he saw them on the 1st. But he did not report them till a few weeks later, and actually did not make any "official" report, he merely passed along his story as an anectdotal type of thing. He was annoyed by the assumption that he purpetrated an april fool's day joke that got out of hand and said that if he were going to do that he would have made a claim on the 1st which he clearly did not. His claim as I said was made weeks later. People love to trash people they have never talked to or have made no effort to understand. The internet makes that easy. But knowing Mr. Kulivan, I doubt too many people would feel comfortable calling him a liar to his face if they were standing there talking to him. As to the veracity of his report I have no idea if he actually saw a pair of IBWO's. I do believe he thinks he saw them.
 
People who see/encounter the species tend to see/encounter it more than once. Some of them seem to have a real knack for seeing IBWO.

Is that worth mentioning?
 
Anonymous 10:31: "He didn't report it on or even near april 1st so that is a lame reason to not believe him. Unless anyone has spoken to him or was privy to the subsequent "interogation" it is arrogant to attack his integrity or intentions. Who knows if he saw what he thinks he saw. Only he does for sure. Nothing wrong with not believing he saw them but no one has the right to call him a liar unless they have first hand knowledge of him or the event."

Interrogation. And, most importantly, not even Kullivan knows what he saw, he only knows what he perceived. The whole IBWO debacle revolves around the gap between perception and reality. There is no question of what people perceive, there is a very significant question of what really was there.

Anonymous 11:09: "The Kulivan sightings were legitimate.

The Lewis photos are bonafide.

Both good men.

If you don't care for my absolutes, tough."

Talk about a content-free post. Let me add "Kulivan and Lewis were most likely wrong." Now we have really advanced the dialogue.

Anonymous 11:53: "I do believe he thinks he saw them." No one questions that. Of course people who think they saw the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, think they saw it. This is perhaps the single biggest gap between the "believers" and the "skeptics". Few people doubt the perceptions of the sighters; the skeptics doubt the _accuracy_ of those perceptions. It doesn't make any given sighter a liar (although we have plenty of liars in the IBWO domain).

Here is the central point -- perception is not reality. David Sibley has some very eloquent writing about this issue with respect to bird identification, based on a vast amount of personal experience.

Anonymous 3:19PM: "People who see/encounter the species tend to see/encounter it more than once. Some of them seem to have a real knack for seeing IBWO." Birds, including very rare birds, are observed over and over by multiple observers. The fact that this has never happened for the IBWO is a very significant finding.
 
If perception is not reality, then we should no longer believe anyone's claims, including those of David Sibley. Or does this apply only to the IBWO? And despite your assertion, multiple sightings from the same areas HAVE occurred. Clearly, your perception is not reality.
 
Multiple CRAPPY GLIMPSES, CLAIMED by BELIEVERS, HAVE occured in the same areas.

These birds DISAPPEAR when CAMERAS or NON-BELIEVERS appear (much like other figments of the imagination unless you count blurry photos.)
 
Oh...now we need to qualify our perception, uhhh, I mean reality. Very clever. Glad you don't disguise the anger.
 
"If perception is not reality, then we should no longer believe anyone's claims, including those of David Sibley."

Just to spell it out a little more clearly, someone's perception of reality is not necessarily the same as reality.

Therefore David Sibley's perception that the Ivory-bill has not been rediscovered may (does)match reality, while Cornell's perception that they made the Discovery of the Century may be (is) a delusion.
 
And to follow your reasoning...

Therefore you are quite accomplished at deductive logic.
 
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