Monday, September 25, 2006

Ivory-billed Woodpecker Rumors

Since the announcement of the re-discovery of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, birders, ornithologists and nature-lovers everywhere have been holding their breaths for some indisputable evidence that these ghosts of the swampe do indeed still exist. The 2005 search didn't turn up any hard evidence and the skeptics have been adding to their case even further. I am not one of those skeptics. I believe. (It probably doesn't hurt that I just read Tim Gallagher's Grail Bird, a wonderful and highly recommended book.)

In any event, skeptic or not, some new rumors have surfaced about our Elvis with feathers. Rumor has it that a major university has been documenting a population of as many as 9 pairs of Ivory-bills on a river system in western Florida. It's an area that was never explored by James Tanner. It's expected that there will be an announcement about this at the AOU meeting next month in Veracruz, Mexico. Apparently, this discovery was made over a year ago and the proper authorities are at work trying to preserve the land. After all, we don't want something like THIS happening here.

This information comes from multiple postings on mailing lists as well as a radio interview from a well-known Virginia birder. We can only hope and pray that these rumors are true.

UPDATE: NY Times has an article about these rumors. It sounds like there may not be much concrete evidence this time either. We need the folks from Law & Order on this case.


MojoMan said...

Yes, I want to believe, too, but after the Arkansas experience, the evidence had better be good. I assume you've seen the Ivory-Bill Skeptic:

I saw that thing on AOL about people in NC cutting down trees to keep the red-cockaded woodpecker away. Makes you want to move there, doesn't it?

Patrick Belardo said...


I have seen that site in the past, but not in a long time. It looks like he's on top of the Florida rumors. Thanks for the link.