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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

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


-- Pondering Sonograms --


Bill Pulliam's latest post begins some ongoing technical analysis of the curious Tennessee sounds.

We now have recent recordings of plausible IBWO sounds from at least Arkansas, Florida, South Carolina, and Tennessee, and possibly a couple other states. What are the chances that after 60+ years of hide-and-seek there still remain small populations of Ivory-bills in 4 or more such disparate locales!?? Hard to fathom; VERY hard... If the bird is hanging on by a thread in such multiple locations, then some bright 20-something out there will need to do a PhD. dissertation that re-writes what we thought we knew about population dynamics. Could there be a 'central' primary locale of IBWO habitation from which the other locales are populated via juvenile dispersion?... virtually impossible to conceive of. What to make of the accumulated evidence then; is it all good, or all equally wretched?

Skeptics will disagree, but I also find it hard to fathom that
ALL the recorded sounds, not to even mention all sightings, are bogus (non-IBWO), and if the truth lies somewhere in-between (most sounds bogus, but some from real, living Ivory-bills), then apparently we have no sure, clear-cut technological way to tease out the real from the unreal. Quite a dilemma. Does all of this gathered data do nothing but indicate just how unreliable and unreal the data is (are IBWO sounds a dime-a-dozen if you just run enough recording equipment over enough time in enough patches of woodland?), or does it show how amateurish our techniques are when it comes to tracking cavity-dwelling birds of the deep forest upper canopies? After five years the questions seem more pervasive instead of less-so. And I fear we'll have no more answers when an official final report is issued.

...Don't mean to be redundant, but want to again thank Bill P. for the thoughtful ongoing account of the Tennessee happenings which have instilled some interest in an otherwise boring summer for Ivory-bill news. And again I wish folks from South Carolina, or maybe other locales, were more willing to publicly air certain of their experiences, but, so be it.
(They seem to fail to comprehend the benefits of 'open access' while neglecting to realize that silence is perceived in many quarters as a sign of no results worth considering.)
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