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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, November 02, 2010


-- 'Another Heaven and Earth Must Pass' --

Not Ivory-billed, but pulling at same heartstrings....

Below page with a photo of ghostly captive Passenger Pigeons in a Chicago aviary, circa 1896, was recently posted to BirdChat:


(Look... and... sigh....)

And many more pics from the same wonderful historical gallery here:


"The beauty and genius of a work of art may be reconceived, though its first material expression be destroyed; a vanished harmony may yet again inspire the composer; but when the last individual of a race of living beings breathes no more, another heaven and another earth must pass before such a one can be again." --- William Beebe, The Bird, 1906

(pics from Wikimedia)

I have to say I am by no means convinced that extinction is as irreversible as many in the conservation community believe. The question is whether our own species will survive long enough to bring about the resurrection of others.
Ah Fang, such delicious optimism...

For those out there wondering about these matters, here's what a possible scenario with a 25th century microbiologist encountering some mitochondrial DNA anomalies might look like...

"Dagnabbit, this is mindboggling! I was sequencing the mtDNA of these passenger pigeons, and it's mourning dove stuff for certain. Yet the archaic material from the museum specimens that survived the the Great Global War of the early 24th century shows something entirely different. I can't do taxonomy classifications on this basis!"

"Hey, there's a scientist down in Mexico wondering the same thing about some Imperial woodpeckers. He can't figure out how pale-billed haplogroups managed to get into the equation."

"No way 23rd Century people were advanced enough to pull this off. If they were that sophisticated, they wouldn't have extirpated two-thirds of their numbers a mere ten years later."

Okay, that's about the limit of my understandings of DNA science and visualizing possible future mad scientist laboratory events...

Seems to me, though, the common sense approach would be to take care of what we've got now...

And hope to criminy some of the polticos and policy wonks figure out some way to get our descendants to limit their population numbers...
Are there any pics of Carolina Parakeets? I know the last one(s) died in the Cincy Zoo as the Passenger did.
Here's one site (Google is your friend):


Dang, it prompted me with "Carolina Parakeet Sightings" when I went to type in the search parameters...

I may put up a return-and-report (I'm way over among the doubters on that one); what I find interesting is that, as far as I know, there are far more claimed sightings of the IBWO than this bird...

Oh wait; I just got up from my nap, and I see now you meant photos of living specimens...

Well, there's this one I'd seen before...

Thanks concolor1. I saw that photo of the April Fool's day one too. I guess nobody decided to take photos of the last Carolina Parakeets.

Over the summer I was on my way to Kentucky with my family and on the way to the West Va. border I saw a bird that appeared large, with a pointed tail and was reddish pink on the breast. I didn't get a great look at it as we were driving 70mph down the highway, but my first thought(s) were Passenger Pigeon, Mourning Dove (too small though), American Kestrel, and Cooper's Hawk. I am sure it is not my first thought, but I keep my eye out in case one day I do see one, which I know will never happen...
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