Skip to comments.Ivory-Billed Woodpecker Rediscovered in Arkansas
Posted on 04/28/2005 7:15:51 AM PDT by Right Wing Professor
Morning Edition, April 28, 2005 · A group of wildlife scientists believe the ivory-billed woodpecker is not extinct. They say they have made seven firm sightings of the bird in central Arkansas. The landmark find caps a search that began more than 60 years ago, after biologists said North Americas largest woodpecker had become extinct in the United States.
The large, showy bird is an American legend -- it disappeared when the big bottomland forests of North America were logged, and relentless searches have produced only false alarms. Now, in an intensive year-long search in the Cache River and White River national wildlife refuges involving more than 50 experts and field biologists working together as part of the Big Woods Partnership, an ivory-billed male has been captured on video.
"We have solid evidence, there are solid sightings, this bird is here," says Tim Barksdale, a wildlife photographer and biologist.
For an NPR/National Geographic Radio Expeditions story, NPR science correspondent Christopher Joyce joined the search last January along Arkansas White River, where a kayaker spotted what he believed to be an ivory-billed woodpecker more than a year ago. Many other similar sightings over the last 60 years have raised false hopes.
But this time, Joyce reports that experts associated with the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology in New York and The Nature Conservancy were able to confirm the sighting. They kept the find a secret for more than a year, partly to give conservation groups and government agencies time to protect the birds habitat.
The Nature Conservancy has been buying and protecting land along the White and Cache Rivers for years, along with the state and the federal Fish and Wildlife Service. Since the discovery, they've bought more land to protect the bird.
Supposedly there's an article being released on Science online some time later today.
That is indeed huge news, if true. BUMP.
I will have to send this to my dad.
If they're looking for another "pecker" from Arkansas...we've got one in New York.
Two. I am not convinced Hitlery is a woman.
Finally I can use Great-Grandad's old recipe.
(If what I just wrote makes you sad or angry,
If there is a place where these birds could survive it would have to be someplace like the Cache River area. The Cache River Refuge contains a variety of wetland communities including some of the most intact and least disturbed bottomland hardwood forest in the Mississippi Valley region. A vast place of primeval beauty.
I doubt that there's a hidden flock of passenger pigeons somewhere though.
However, I can tell you that for miles around the property values will plunge because the ivory billed woodpecker MIGHT come on your property therefore you won't be allowed to so much as clear underbrush, much less build a house.
I can't wait to see the video. But, OTOH, it's just another "peckerhead" story from Arkansas. [ducking]
Makes sense, and it's not one of the places that people have done really intensive searches in the past. Last major search I heard of was at Pearl River in Mississippi/Louisiana.
The big question will be, how many of them are there.
The anti-private property front now has a Woody for a poster boy....
Where's my shotgun? If it flies, it dies.
True. They could use this to shut down much of the South. It's a big bird and needs a big range. If you though spotted owls were bad, this sucker's way more photogenic and romantic.
They don't know the difference in extinct and eradicated?
Tastes sort of like spotted owl, and not at all gamey like bald eagle.
Whew! Thats a relief. I can now resume sleeping.
....White River national wildlife refuges....
I sort of hate to spoil a good story, an excellent story even, but does this tie into the Whitewater scandals? Is Clinton involved or God forbid responsible?
I have a wood headed red pecker that comes to our house every summer just like the one you have pictured.
I'm still holding out for a dodo.
They ran a clip here on KARN with the UALR prof who caught the bird on video. He said it was like finding elvis. I want to know was the bird singing and swiveling its hips?
Experts: 'Extinct' woodpecker found Ivory-billed woodpecker last confirmed 60 years ago
Thursday, April 28, 2005 Posted: 1423 GMT (2223 HKT)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The ivory-billed woodpecker, long feared extinct, has been rediscovered in a remote part of Arkansas some 60 years after the last confirmed U.S. sighting, bird experts said Thursday.
Several people have seen and heard an ivory-billed woodpecker in a protected forest in eastern Arkansas near the last reliable sighting of the bird in 1944, and one was captured on video last year.
"The ivory-billed woodpecker (Campephilus principalis), long suspected to be extinct, has been rediscovered in the 'Big Woods' region of eastern Arkansas," researchers wrote in the journal Science in an article hastily prepared for release.
"Visual encounters during 2004 and 2005, and analysis of a video clip from April 2004, confirm the existence of at least one male."
Drumming sounds made by the birds have also been heard, the researchers said.
"This is huge. Just huge," said Frank Gill, senior ornithologist at the Audubon Society. "It is kind of like finding Elvis."
Gill said there is little doubt the sightings are genuine. The experts were expected to display some of the evidence at a news conference at the Department of the Interior later Thursday.
"The ivory-billed woodpecker is one of six North American bird species suspected or known to have gone extinct since 1880," wrote the researchers, led by John Fitzpatrick of the Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology in New York.
"The others are Labrador duck (Camptorhynchus labradorius), Eskimo curlew (Numenius borealis), Carolina parakeet (Conuropsis carolinensis), passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius), and Bachman's warbler (Vermivora bachmanii)."
Big but shy
A large, dramatic-looking bird, the ivory-billed woodpecker was known to be shy and to prefer the deep woods of the U.S. Southeast.
"Its disappearance coincided with systematic annihilation of virgin tall forests across southeastern United States between 1880 and the 1940s," the researchers wrote.
People claimed to have seen it but the bird closely resembles the pileated woodpecker, which is noisy, less shy and quite common.
More reliable sightings were reported in Cuba as late as the 1980s.
"There have been lots and lots of reports and many of them have been off but others have been possible," Gill said in a telephone interview. "But this time we got it."
The ivory-billed woodpecker was known to be shy and to prefer the deep woods of the U.S. Southeast.
Gill said the bird was seen just over the border from Louisiana where the last documented ivory-bill was seen in 1944. "As a woodpecker flies it's not far," he said.
The birds only live about 15 years so the sightings mean they must be breeding somewhere.
"There has got to be a pretty serious lineage," Gill said. "It's got to be more than a few."
People are likely to flock to the area to try to see the birds themselves but it will be difficult, Gill said.
"It is not something you just go down and see. Your odds are very low," Gill said. "It is remote, difficult country. This time of year it is getting very buggy and very snakey and there is a lot of foliage."
But the discovery may help get protection for a larger area of the Big Woods, the nonprofit Nature Conservancy said.
"This area was once the largest expanse of forested wetlands in the country, originally consisting of 21 million acres of bottomland hardwood forests. Today, only 4.9 million acres remain, mostly in scattered woodland patches," it says on its Internet Web site.
"It's just the most exciting report in my lifetime. I think we will move ... to make this a globally important bird wildlife area," Gill said.
Very nice, Prof. I was listening to this story this morning. The bird was described as "charismatic" which I thought was perhaps a bit over the top. Lovely to see it though.
And that is why I am a FReeper..!!!
1 Woodpecker, cleaned and washed
1 tbsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
5 stalks celery
1/3 cup melted butter
6 bacon slices
6 bacon slices done to a crisp
1 large. onion
6 baby carrots
1 can mushrooms
1 cup Sherry
One cup heavy cream
Sprinkle woodpecker with salt and pepper. Put onion, mushrooms, carrots and celery in bird's cavity. Place breast side down on a rack in the roasting pan. Dribble melted butter over breast and place bacon strips on top of bird.
Turn bird breast side up 20 minutes beore it is done and cover breast with bacon slices. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes per pound or until bird is tender.
Deglaze pan, pour off the fat. Remove vegetables and blend on high residue with deglazed pan juices. Add sherry and heavy cream. Add grapes if desired, Serve with wild rice. Delicious!
word is the Cuba also holds a population of Ivory-Billed ..... and I read a story a year or two ago about a few sightings in Mississippi
You haven't ridden Amtrak in a while, eh?
One of Hillary's old sex toys!
Sounds like we might have ourselves a new National Monument. Cool.
The area which is now White River National Wildlife Refuge has a long and colorful history. Hernando DeSoto landed near what is today St. Charles. At that time it was an Indian village and later became a trading post as goods moved up and down the White River to the Mississippi River. Not until the late 1800s and early 1900s did the population grow and settlers began to live along and on the river. Timber harvest, commercial hunting, fishing, trapping, and digging freshwater mussels for their shells were the primary means to make a living, resulting in significant reductions in native wildlife and their habitats. People working and living along this portion of the White River continued in this manner until the refuge was established.
How about prothonotary warblers? One of them helped Whittaker Chambers prove Alger Hiss was lying.
"Now, in an intensive year-long search in the Cache River and White River national wildlife refuges involving more than 50 experts and field biologists working together as part of the Big Woods Partnership, an ivory-billed male has been captured on video."
50$ per/hr(conserv. estimate) x 2000 hrs (approx. one work year) x 50 experts= $5,000,000
$5,000,000 for a solid video of an ivory-billed male.
Not a bad ROI.
I live in TX, and as the say here every one of God creatures has a place on this planet. On a plate right next to the taters, with some gravy.
Living proof that you don't have to have a prick to be one...
And, B. O. Plenty.
I thought the pecker heads had left Arkansas for N.Y.
Used to. One thing you won't hear on NPR is that the enlightened people's republic of Cuba has been very bad for the environment, with several species having been wiped out in the last 50 years.
First assumed that's who/what the thread was about....Almost didn't click on it...am interested in the bird (we have lots of Pilated here) but not the human.
We have some really big woodpeckers around my wood at the Lake of the Ozarks. Lots of oak and similar hard woods and we're overrun with borers, so these birds are well fed.
Why is this bird so fragile. We live in a developed area and have piliateds out the wazoo. What's the diff?
Manly Wade Wellman would not be surprised to learn that the bird was not "extinct". Here are some other animals he claimed to still roam the back woods of the Ozarks. Most of them come from "The Desrick on Yandro", a short story I first came across in an Alfred Hitchock compilation of short stories.
Bammat: "...something hairy-like, with big ears and a long wiggly nose and twisty white teeth sticking out of its mouth." Like the Loch Ness Monster or Bigfoot, the Wooly Mammoth is believed to still roam the back woods of the mountains of America. - "The Desrick on Yandro" 1952
Behinder: No on can rightly say what it looks like "...for it's alway behind the man or woman it wants to grab." Silver John did see it once though: "Then I knew why nobody's supposed to see one. To this day I can see it, as plain as a fence at noon, and forever I will be able to see it. But talking about it is another matter. Thank you, I won't try." - "The Desrick on Yandro" 1952
Culverin:"...can shoot pebbles with its mouth." - "The Desrick on Yandro" 1952
Flat: "It lies level with the ground, and not much higher. It can wrap around you like a blanket." - "The Desrick on Yandro" 1952
Skim: "And above the tree tops sailed a round, flat thing, like a big plate being pitched high." - "The Desrick on Yandro" 1952
Toller: "It's the hugest flying thing there is... its voice tolls like a bell, to tell other creatures their feed's near." - "The Desrick on Yandro" 1952
Ugly Bird: The familiar of Mr. Onselm, an evil country sorcerer. It is a giant buzzard-like creature, but bigger. Possibly related to the Indian legend of the Thunder Bird, a giant eagle capable of carrying away children and small adults. "Then I made out the thin snaky neck, the bulgy head and long stork beak, the eye set in front of its head -- man-fashion in front, not to each side. The feet that taloned onto the sack showed pink and smooth with five graspy toes." - "O Ugly Bird" 1951