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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

Friday, July 17, 2009


-- The Road Ahead? --


First, to those who have sent along emails of 'thanks' and well-wishes... hey, this ain't no funeral, nor even a farewell! I expect to be blogging about the Ivory-bill for some time yet, just with fewer-and-farther-between posts. There remain reasons for hope and belief that a few individuals still inhabit southeastern corners. No reason to kid ourselves though... 'proof' of IBWO persistence isn't likely coming forth soon.

I don't much envy the powers-that-be who will be summarizing 4+ years worth of data/evidence. Obviously, they won't look back in retrospect and conclude it was a futile effort, but to the degree that they express optimism or positivity over the results they will be ridiculed in some quarters for spinning or finessing the information gathered. Unfortunately, they're in a bit of a lose-lose situation no matter what they conclude (at least in some circles), but there will be positives in their report.
I am most disappointed (as blogged before) that after 3 years of scouting out areas, year 4 did not produce an increase in the number of credible, detailed sightings (photos I can live without, but there ought be more quality sightings by now, one would expect) --- will be interested to see how many of this season's sighting claims Cornell deems worthy of inclusion in their final report.

Also, I hope in that final report they don't simply offer up another loose laundry list (as we've seen year after year) of "potential," "possible," "interesting" sites deserving further attention. Instead, for the few independent searchers who might make use of such info, I hope they will pinpoint with some specificity the 2-3 places that they think MOST warrant additional concentrated efforts based on totality of evidence gathered, claims, sound recordings, etc. (However, not confident they will do that --- there may be too much disagreement among team members over just which geographic sites are most promising... I suspect there are a lot of disagreements amongst 'recovery team' members!).

Finally, as much as I believe it's just one itsy bit of evidence in this whole long debate, and as much as we're all exhausted of viewing it, maybe still appropriate at this time to post again the video that in many ways convened this whole controversy (...view it and wonder about all the "if-only's"):

Addendum: Above YouTube video seems to have been removed, but can still be found from this Cornell link.

Thanks Cyberthrush for posting the Juneau Video again.

It's been quite some time since I viewed it over a year I suppose - so I guess I can again go with my first impression. What I see is a bird that does not in the least look familiar with a PIWO. Instead, I see a distinctly different bird, one with much more white secondaries, a differnt wing flap motion with jet black plumage - that just seems to say IBWO.

It's important to add that just this past Sunday while hiking I flushed a PIWO from the ground about the same distance that Dave Juneau appears from the bird in his video.

THE PIWO was starkly different in appearance and flight pattern. And the white that was evident with each wing beat formed a distinct U around the birds shoulders. Not what you see hear.

Unfortunately, the Juneau video is not the definitive proof we need to prove the IBWO Lives.. We need verifiable and most importantly repeatable(is this a word?)evidence.

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