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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, August 06, 2009


-- Auburn Update --


Geoff Hill's latest update from the Auburn effort in the Choctawhatchee region of the Florida Panhandle is up now HERE.

Needless to say, no luck during the '08-'09 season efforts which were largely based on the placement of newly-designed automatic cameras, which unfortunately continued to have a high (50%) failure rate (they are working on some tweaks that will hopefully improve that situation).

Dr. Hill reports at one point:

"In short, our experience over the past year indicates that ivorybills have moved out of the areas where we encountered them from 2005 to 2008. That’s as much as I can say with any confidence. There is no way to know whether the birds are in different areas in the Choctawhatchee Basin, different forests in the region, or dead."

And then adds more optimistically:

"I’m not pessimistic about the situation yet. We know almost nothing about the remnant population of ivorybills on the Florida panhandle. The few birds that were in the vicinities of Bruce Creek and Old Creek from 2005 to 2008 may simply be up or down the river (where we never venture) or in some beetle-killed stand of timber in the region. I have to assume that one of these months we will again detect them in the area that we monitor."

Hill will continue occasional scouting trips to the area and monitoring of automatic cameras, though his chief technician, Brian Rolek, has graduated and will be moving on. Hill reports he won't be posting any more updates at that particular website, but obviously if THE photo should arrive the news will be released to all.

Meanwhile, Mike Collins has commenced reporting for a new search season at the Pearl (La.) HERE.
To paraphrase two of my favorite existential philosophers (Beavis and Butthead): "The woodpeckers must be, like, dead or something."
Sounds just like Cornell in Arkansas--we did see them, we're sure, but now we can't find them, so they must have flown away, or maybe been hit by a truck,... or something.

On a serious note, look at the last statement:
"I won’t post any more updates on this site. If I get a clear photo, all ivorybill enthusiasts will hear about it. I don’t mind answering e-mails and I like to hear about sightings or other detections."

It sounds to me like Hill is throwing in the towel.
"Throwing in the towel" seems a tad overboard interpretation, as Hill indicates he'll still continue to visit the area for awhile and monitor automatic cameras:

"For as long as my interest and motivation hold up, the plan is for me to go down to the swamp about four or five times per year, collect images from the cameras, adjust the positions of the cameras, and try to get a photo of an ivorybill with my digital SLR."
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