Sunday, February 10, 2008

IBWO Toots: An Archive of Ivory-billed Woodpecker Blog Postings

I well remember the excitement I felt when I first heard rumors, back in April 2005, that there would soon be a major announcement coming out of Arkansas about the Ivory-billed Woodpecker (Campephilus principalis). Someone must surely have discovered a breeding pair, I thought. My greatest fear was realized when what was reported was not a breeding pair, but the sighting(s) of a single individual. And when I viewed the blurry image that was presented as purported documentation, my heart sank. In subsequent months and years I found myself inexorably drawn into the IBWO debate, growing ever more skeptical of the “evidence” being put forth claiming the continued existence of IBWOs in the southeastern U.S.

Caption: This ghostly image of the skull of Campephilus principalis is from the University of Texas.
As someone with a definite opinion on the subject, I found it impossible to resist occasionally offering up my own comments. In the 34 months since the announced “rediscovery,” I have written no fewer than 65 blog-posts relating (directly or indirectly) to the IBWO; some are whimsical or frivolous while others are more serious and ubstantive in nature. They’ve all been fun to research and write. My IBWO blog-posts are listed here in inverse chronological order:


Blogger Bobby said...

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February 10, 2008 7:26 AM  
Blogger JP said...

Interesting topic, John. It raises the question "extinct until proven extant, or extant until proven extinct"? I haven't read through the studies thoroughly examining either the original case or recent claims, myself. But it does bring to mind the legions of other U.S. birds that have gone extinct (

February 10, 2008 1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You were and are one of the few balanced voices during this entire IBWO fiasco.

Oops, guess I took sides. Sorry.

February 11, 2008 2:18 PM  

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