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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, November 06, 2009


-- Joyously Alive???? --



I'll try to leave the direct link to Mike's journal page near the blog top (for easy access) while this whole episode or process plays itself out (and I have no idea how long that will take, nor am I convinced that a consensus resolution on Mike's videos will be attained... but we can keep our fingers crossed).

To head into the weekend, just some words from Julie Zickefoose written 10 years ago at the end of a 'Bird Watcher's Digest' piece on the Ivory-billed Woodpecker (long before the whole Arkansas story even broke):
"We've sent it [IBWO] countless messages with our saws and our columns of smoke. Leave or die out. Find somewhere else to live. This land is our land, now. And it just doesn't listen to us; it goes on, somewhere, I have to believe it; not dead, but missing in action; alive, defiantly, desperately, joyously, alive. No one can tell me I'm wrong, and, it seems, no one can tell me I'm right. There are those of us who cannot let it go."


MC's video before 11/5 of the bird flying left: Besides the obviously good GISS of the bird for IBWO I am getting workouts that infer the following for speed and wing beat Hz:

Travels per one wingcycle 2 3/16" on screen, bird length 7/16" on screen. All screens should have the same ratio of bird length to distance traveled in one cycle ......7/35 or 1/5. The one cycle takes 10 frames (left wing at apex to left wing at apex).

Assuming 60 fr/s and a bird 20" long gives 35/7 x 20" in 1/6 s. This is 600"/s which equals ~ 34 mph.

The wingbeat Hz is ~ 6/s.

Both of these are close for heuristic speed and wingbeat Hz of IBWO using the best models from published/unpublished authors. In addition various modern observers of IBWOs, including wildlife/duck surveyors who have directly measured flight speeds of birds and have putative IB sightings have given an estimate of 35 mph for IBWO.

All above done quickly and assuming 60fr/s and the bird has a length of 20".

In the other clip.... why does the bird have so much white in rump......like a Red-headed Woodpecker? Or is that possibly the dorsal stripes? The white in the wing seems too much for a RHWO and the wing aspect wrong for RH.

Would look at that again but it seems unimportant in light of other events and videos that look realy good.


Fred Virrazzi
I'd just caution against reaching any firm conclusions too soon. Analysis and speculation are fine (I too find certain aspects intriguing), but am not at all confident this story is headed anywhere in the end (that can all change on a dime though). Even when an official analysis of Mike's material is released I might still have some unresolved questions. But sure, for now the more opinions the merrier...
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