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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

Saturday, May 22, 2010


-- Incredulous --


The vast majority of readers here no doubt know the Mason Spencer story which, in a sense, initiated the whole modern-day Ivory-bill saga back in Louisiana in April 1932, but for the few who may not, always worth a re-telling. The following version comes from Tim Gallagher's "The Grail Bird":
"The next time the ivory-bill reared its beautiful head was in the early 1930s, in a huge tract of virgin timber along Louisiana's Tensas River. Mason Spencer, a country lawyer and state legislator from the wilds of northeastern Louisiana, was visiting the director of the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries at his headquarters in Baton Rouge. At one point the director asked him how the moonshine was in his area. "One of our game wardens must be drinking it," he said, "because he says he sees ivory-bills there."
""He's right. I've seen them myself," replied Spencer.
Incredulous, the director drew up a collecting permit for Spencer and challenged him to prove it. A short time later, Spencer came back with a freshly shot male ivory-bill and, as legend has it, flung it down on the director's desk."

In modern-day parlance, "DOH!!"

[ Word of the incident filtered back to Arthur Allen at Cornell, and three years later the famous Singer Tract expedition was launched. ]

So began the ornithological story that refuses to die...
Old news, and of little consequence, but I noticed Joe Hepperle posted some non-updates on his web site. He seems to suggest that Rainsong will return next year with a video camera (assuming I guess that Rainsong is not in prison), impliedly conceding that Rainson's photos were inconclusive at best.

Cornell's report on Rainsong was due months ago huh? What ever happened to that? Scrapped or just shelved indefinitely?

My guess is Rainsong is off commiserating in a bar somewhere with the guy who had the Bigfoot carcass in the ice chest.
The Lower Sabine River area (Texas) remains of interest to several folks, but yeah video is really needed, if anyone unknown is making the claims.
I can only guess that Cornell decided that the Rainsong matter was so savaged on the Web there was no need to further address it -- just one more instance of them not doing what they implied they would do; and one more reason I have no confidence any sort of meaningful overall summary report will be issued next yr.
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