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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, August 30, 2011


-- August Sign-off --


May as well note a couple things before August passes...

1. Audio interview with Dan Mennill of the Auburn (Choctawhatchee) search team from a few weeks back here:


2. The current edition of Bird Watcher's Digest includes an article starting out thusly:

"Paddling along in an Arkansas swamp, you raise your binoculars to catch a glimpse of a huge black and white woodpecker. Your camera, of course, is in its waterproof bag by your side, and by the time you get it out, aim, and focus, the bird is gone. If only your binoculars had a button that could capture what you see.
Birders would love such a hybrid device: small, portable, roof-prism binoculars with a built-in digital camera."

Such binoculars have actually been around for sometime now, but the quality was lacking. This particular article more-or-less favorably reviews the new Bushnell SyncFocus 8x30mm binocs (at $200-$300, the quality of the digital photography still might only be good enough for a clear view of a perched IBWO and inadequate for a flying specimen).
On-the-other-hand, if you have $1400 or $2000 to expend in this economy you may wish to wait for the recently-touted Sony DEV-3 or Sony DEV-5 video-recording binoculars (due out in November):


3. Finally, on a sidenote, for any of you who own Noel Snyder's 150-pg. 2004 volume, "The Carolina Parakeet," don't give it up cheaply... I just ran across a copy in a used bookstore priced at $50. I've reported here before that some 20 years ago I ran across what I thought was an over-priced copy of James Tanner's original "The Ivory-billed Woodpecker" similarly priced around $50, and today they run for about $500. So who knows....

Monday, August 08, 2011


-- Nest Predation --


Some time back I mentioned that a bird rehabilitator friend had lost a juvenile Pileated Woodpecker to a black snake that gained access to a pen. And I wondered aloud to what degree snakes may have have been a significant culprit of the historically low reproduction rates reported for Ivory-bills. Interestingly (to me), Brandon Noel concludes in his recent PhD. dissertation that black snakes are indeed the single greatest predator of Pileated Woodpecker nestlings (in the Southeast anyway), and presumes the likelihood that they preyed upon Ivory-bill nests as well, possibly as a significant limiting factor on IBWO populations.

From another site, a story and some photos here of a Pileated protecting its young from an intruding black snake:


And, not a Pileated (instead, a tropical Crimson-crested Woodpecker), but if you missed this video of a Woodpecker protecting its nest from a couple years back, well, it's a MUST-see:


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