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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, December 29, 2009


-- Archival Pics --


A poster on IBWO Researchers Forum provides below link to images (some colorized) from the Cornell archives of Ivory-bills, and other material from the Singer Tract expedition:


Elsewhere on Web it's reported that Jerry Jackson is scheduled to give a talk in March in Florida entitled "History, Hoopla, and Hope: Lessons of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker and its Emergence as an Icon for Conservation" (I suspect the emphasis will be on 'history' and 'hoopla,' although Jerry always hedges his bets just enough to keep 'hope' from expiring entirely).

January essentially marks the beginning of a new winter search season (to ~April/May), though difficult to imagine much news emerging out of this year's heavily scaled-back efforts. Meanwhile, we await a final summary from official sources that might give some direction (...or, not) --- just wonder if that eventual report will be presented with any degree of enthusiasm, or just stammering and red faces?

Sunday, December 27, 2009


-- Top 10 Posts... NOT! --


Didn't fully realize just what a disappointing year this has been until I went back, as a year-end review, to pick out 10 favorite posts from the last 12 months... and couldn't compile such!

Instead I'll just cite 2 light-hearted posts:

"Get A Photo, Sherlock"
"Name Change?"

...a mere 2 posts of a serious (and similar) nature:

"Ivory-bill Politics"
"Of Bubbles"

...and lastly, 3 totally OFF-TOPIC video posts that remain among my favorite to view:

"Wingsuit Flying"
"Another Very Endangered Bird"

So much for 2009 :-(

....A little music as the year nears an end... because some of us still believe in things we have not seen ;-) :

http://tinyurl.com/yfr7wyu )

Thursday, December 24, 2009


-- Pics (OT) --


I assume this is for real, though seems improbable(?) :


(check out the rest of the pics at this site as well, by clicking directly on each pic to bring up the next one! --- but not while you're about to sit down for a Holiday meal!!)

....and a Happy (belated) Festivus to everyone!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


-- Need a Calendar? --


For all you last-minute Xmas shoppers (...okay, it's probably too late to order for Christmas), your 2010 Hooters Calender is available here (...gotta LUV the cover!):


....or view a sample here from 2009:


Tuesday, December 22, 2009


-- Rohrbaugh On the 'Romeo Error' --


Cornell's Ron Rohrbaugh speaks with the Cornell Chronicle here:



Monday, December 21, 2009


-- Largest Search Ever Coming this Winter --


....but NOT for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker. Worldwide search for the Slender-billed Curlew, "Europe's most enigmatic bird," will commence this winter:



Saturday, December 19, 2009


-- The Ivory-billed Woodpecker... and Physics --


Just a quite old post from another blog, but I've got to love it when the Ivory-billed Woodpecker and physics are discussed in the same breath:


(maybe 2010 will be the year to confirm both the Higgs boson and the IBWO... or, maybe not)


Friday, December 18, 2009


-- Keeping the Beat --


Not IBWO, but in a comment further down "onthecoyle" notes the below YouTube clip in which a Pileated Woodpecker on a window ledge interestingly mimics the knocks (rhythm and number) produced by human observers inside. Great look at a great bird, and fascinating behavior... :

ADDENDUM: still a great look at a great bird, but unfortunately the "behavior" has now been readily explained away; see comment below.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


-- Another Search Technology --


A new acoustic monitoring technology to aid searching is described by Mark Gahler over at IBWO Researchers Forum here:


with further details at the individual's website here:


Tuesday, December 15, 2009


-- If Only the Ivory-billed Woodpecker Was an Email ;-) --



Sunday, December 13, 2009


-- "Ghost Bird" Director Interviewed --


9-minute interview with Scott Crocker, director of "Ghost Bird":

...and here a momentarily-captive Pileated Woodpecker (juvenile??) making a call unusual for them:


Wednesday, December 09, 2009


-- 'Putting Miles of Swamp' Between Them and Us? --

"If there is one ivory-bill still alive, there have to be more. A reproducing population, making more ivorybills, generations enough to span sixty years. Must we trap them in their roost holes, and bundle them into cages, these mythic beings with their wild eyes and fiery crests? Given a choice between such intervention and certain extinction, and the intellect to consider it, what would an ivory-bill choose? I imagine it flying away, in a long, straight line, putting miles of swamp between it and the further workings of humanity."
-- From Julie Zickefoose's NPR commentary broadcast 4 years ago following the announcement of discovering an Ivory-billed Woodpecker in Arkansas [she is referencing here, BTW, the Calif. Condor recovery program instituted to save that species].

While we await further summary info or plans for the coming season, a reminder that you can bring up
miscellaneous, IBWO-related topics you're interested in at the 'Permanent Open Thread' here (scroll down, I've marked off where any December discussion begins):


Or if you have something longer to say enter the 'contest' here:


Wednesday, December 02, 2009


-- CONTEST!: You Too Can Be a Blogger!!! --


Never had a contest here before... better late than never! (hopefully there will be contestants!?)...

Here's what I've got in mind:

You have ideas, conclusions, or a take on the whole Ivory-bill story that maybe hasn't been adequately expressed yet? Or something's just buggin' you that needs said. This is your chance...

Write a potential blog post, MAXimum 1000 words (minimum, 47 words :-)), about any aspect of the Ivory-bill search, or possibilities of extinction or existence, that you like; this can be from either a skeptical or a 'believer' standpoint. Send it to me by Jan. 2 upcoming, and I'll pick the entry I like best to run as a blog post that first week in January (if there are multiple ones that I like enough, might choose honorable mentions to also run as posts). Sorry, no $$$, no door prizes, no Caribbean cruises, just the recognition of being the first-ever guest blogger here at 'Ivory-bills LiVE.'

(BTW, don't necessarily try to mimic views I espouse here myself, that won't help you; I'll be looking for entries that thoughtfully, or creatively, or convincingly present some significant point-of-view whatever that view may be --- could be on a very narrow aspect or a broad, general theme regarding IBWO; could be highly empirical, or experiential, or just commonsensical (...and multiple entries from 1 person are okay also).

Please email to me at: cyberthrush[AT]gmail.com (by midnight, Jan. 2, 2010)

I prefer entries to have real names attached to them, or if you are better known across the Web under some given pseudonym that is ok (if you feel you can only enter anonymously, explain why that is the case and I'll consider "Anonymous" entries).

Ready... Set... Commence writing. . . . .


Tuesday, December 01, 2009


-- Just For Inspiration --


Anyone who follows astronomy much, knows that a great many first-time discoveries in the profession have actually been made by amateurs or hobbyists. For a lot of reasons astronomy is a scientific field that lends itself to non-professionals making significant contributions. Related story here:


Similarly in birding, copious amounts of data and findings are contributed every year not by professional ornithologists, but weekend birders practicing their passion...
As the academics who are immersed in avian science Mon.-Fri. retreat from the Ivory-bill search, it will be left up to weekend hobbyist-types to carry on. ...Worth remembering perhaps, that it wasn't ornithology grad student James Tanner who originally re-discovered/documented the Ivory-bill back in the 1930's, but country bumpkin-of-sorts Mason Spencer.


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