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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.
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"....The truth is out there."

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-- 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






Thursday, July 04, 2019

 

— Another One Passes On… —

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Add one more individual to the history bin of the grand Ivory-bill saga…
Mark Michaels and others send word that Bob (Robert, Rob) Russell Jr., retired from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, died suddenly on Sunday June 30 at 73 years of age. Bob was a long-time, intrepid, optimistic Ivory-bill searcher. I only spent a few days with him close to 20 years ago in the aftermath of the David Kulivan Pearl River sighting, and then had occasional emails back-and-forth over the years. At that time I believe he was working on an Ivory-bill book, which may have been pre-empted by the later Cornell excitement in the Big Woods of Arkansas and the mini-flurry of books which followed that. 

Bob always had a couple of intriguing Ivory-bill stories to tell, though never with quite as much detail or documentation as I was hoping for (he was a long-time birder and searched for other rarities as well). I often couldn’t tell which stories to take most seriously, but at least his optimism was a bit contagious. Writer/birder and fellow Minnesotan Laura Erickson described Bob as “one of the kindest, warmest people I've ever known, a great birder, a total optimist (he never lost hope that an Ivory-billed Woodpecker was lurking somewhere) and lots of fun, too.”

If/when I come across a more extensive obituary of his life I may add it on here.

ADDENDUM:  here is one online obituary for Bob (if folks know of others feel free to pass them along):
https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/saint-paul-mn/robert-russell-8767800#remembering
...and Mark Michaels sends along this tribute from Bob's long-time friend/columnist Jim Williams:
http://www.startribune.com/remembering-a-longtime-bird-advocate/513095212/

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