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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

Sunday, January 11, 2015


-- Catching Up --


I assume that most follow the Project Coyote group updates, but in case not, there are a couple posted since their latest end-of-year searches in La.:

(I probably won't be reporting much though, in any ongoing way, on what few searches I'm aware of, unless something highly noteworthy pops up.)

The latest (February) issue of Birdwatching magazine includes a retrospective article by Jerry Jackson on the IBWO saga that started with the Big Woods announcement in Arkansas -- it's an indication of how far the Ivory-bill has fallen from grace, that despite Jackson's article being the longest in the issue, the magazine cover bird is a Hooded Merganser and not the IBWO; I s'pose at this point an Ivory-bill cover is just as likely to hurt sales as to increase them. Anyway, nothing too new in the piece, but if you wish to review some sketchy history, it's worth perusing. Like most former Ivory-bill optimists, Dr. Jackson has been pessimistic for quite awhile about the bird's chance of survival. He does however end the write-up with his now trademark thought of, "The truth IS still out there."

In the piece, Jackson reviews Cornell's handling of the whole affair from the same critical perspective he's voiced previously, including some focus on various distortions and weak science involved in the story.  Of course Jackson is mild, compared with those who, early on, ludicrously charged Cornell and the Nature Conservancy with perpetrating a hoax for fund-raising purposes. I'm not sure to this day that Cornell comprehends how badly the whole story was mishandled (starting from an incongruous, and failed, plan to have First Lady Laura Bush announce the re-discovery, and spiraling downhill from there).

Even with that said, I remain among, what Jackson (and others) call the "true believers," for reasons that aren't worth debating, and that admittedly dwindle with each passing year.

Birdwatching has posted a couple of IBWO web posts in conjunction with this article, and  these posts in turn, link to several of their older articles on the subject:


Lastly, on a side-note, Jackson mentions in passing that the IBWO story inspired several blogs (pro and con) along the way -- which made me think back to my own favorite (unmentioned) very short-lived, blog from 2007: it was called "IvorybilledSeptic" and was a parody blog of the rest of us bloggers -- gave me some belly laughs at the time, but disappeared in short order. Back then I sleuthed around a bit and thought I had it's author pegged to being 1 of 2 people, but could never confirm the authorship.
SOOOO, if anyone wishes to now fess up, lo these years later, and admit to having been IvorybilledSeptic, I'd be curious to hear ;-)

Anyway, next month marks 11 years since Gene Sparling's original fateful observation while out kayaking. Eleven years of sound and fury... signifying???

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