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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, December 26, 2014


-- End-of-Year Notes --


Birder/writer Jim Williams recently reviewed a new bird book, but spent most of his time talking once again about the search for the IBWO:

And once again have to give Mike Collins an "A" for persistence (even if it seems misplaced)... Christmas Eve he posted the following to the birding "ID Frontiers" listserve group (a place he hasn't exactly had a warm reception in the past):

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


-- Holiday Note --


-- HAPPY HOLIDAYS to all! --

Whenever the world seems to trample on hope... we still return to it . . . .


We believe in things that we cannot see
Why shouldn't we, why shouldn't we
Hands that heal can set a chained man free
Why shouldn't we, why shouldn't we

We believe in peace within every heart
Why shouldn't we, why shouldn't we
Burning brightly, brightly in the dark
Why shouldn't we, why shouldn't we

So come on darling feel your spirits rise
Come on children open up your eyes
God is all around
Buddha's at the gate
Allah hears your prayers
It's not too late

And we believe in things that will give us hope
Why shouldn't we, why shouldn't we
Let your voice be heard, celebrate your vote
Why shouldn't we, why shouldn't we

We believe in things that make us all the same
Why shouldn't we, why shouldn't we
Love belongs to all in deed and name
Why shouldn't we, why shouldn't we

And we believe in things that can't be done
Why shouldn't we, why shouldn't we
Lift up your heart, put down your gun
Why shouldn't we, why shouldn't we

We believe in things
We're told that we cannot change
Why shouldn't we
We had heroes once, and we will again
Why shouldn't we

So come on darling
Come on children
God is all around, Buddha's at the gate
Allah hears our prayers
It's not too late

Why shouldn't we
Why shouldn't we
Why shouldn't we
Why shouldn't we
Why shouldn't we


Wednesday, December 10, 2014


-- Thought I'd Read It All... --


Thought I'd read all the old Ivory-bill stories, but this one from the Texas Big Thicket crossed my screen, and I don't recall it (IBWO part in second half of story):


Upon first reading, I figured it was some sort of fictionalized account or creative natural-history writing, but upon researching it, turns out to be a true story from 1967.

This old volume (among other places) on the Big Thicket references it:


The fellow took his specimen back home with him, and there was no serious follow-up or further indication of IBWO on his property, so I can't tell if there's any validity at all to the almost 50-year-old tale... it sounds a bit fishy, if only because it rings so much like a fabricated knock-off of the much-earlier Mason Spencer story from Louisiana (which of course is true)...  nonetheless, entertaining.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014


-- Mike C. Back at Pearl River (last month) --


Mike Collins keeps re-posting various past videos at YouTube (perhaps to keep them appearing as 'recent' in the search criteria, or maybe he adds new commentary or footage, I'm not sure since I don't have time to check them all), but he's also added some fresh footage from his latest Pearl visit, two of which I include below. Nothing new, Ivory-bill-wise, but I did enjoy this first, almost meditative, 15-min. clip from one of his rigged treetops. Almost no commentary in it, and not much action to be seen, just a nice, tranquil canopy-view of the Pearl area in late fall. 

Don't know if he has new equipment or is simply more-practiced by now, but I was impressed with the film-quality and his ability to quickly maneuver/focus the camera in that tree'ed-position. Given that I now believe IBWOs may spend 80+% of their time at canopy-level, of course this tree-top view, and the panorama it provides, is all the more interesting (though it also means the viewer is locked in place, and with but one set of eyes, is missing much of that panorama at any given point in time). Will still take a great deal of LUCK to chance upon a clearly-photographable IBWO from that position. Anyway, this might bore most readers, but I enjoyed it:

The other (also 15-min.) video is from ground-level in a kayak, demonstrating Mike's "paddlecam" (camera attached to a kayak oar); more wildlife action here, and much commentary from Mike, so may be the more interesting clip to most people, though I preferred the first (and again, even with videocam attached to paddle and moving kayak, film quality surprisingly good):



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