Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Veracity of Ivory-billed Woodpecker Claims

If we go a couple more years without proof that at least one Ivory-billed Woodpecker still lives in North America, I think that claims of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers will lose all veracity.—Geoffrey E. Hill (as quoted in this interview, published May 8, 2007, on the blog of Oxford University Press, the publisher of Hill’s Ivory-bill Hunters).
We must now be coming very, very near to the tipping point on this one. In his book, Hill had claimed the existence of at least nine pairs of these crow-sized woodpeckers along the Choctawhatchee River in the Panhandle of Florida. Last I knew, Hill et al.’s claims still remain unverified, their evidence not yet accepted as conclusive by the Florida Ornithological Society’s Records Committee.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe that the Ivory billed Woodpecker phenomena is actually a conscious and subconscious symbol for hope...the hope that Nature can be restored into a state of harmonic balance. People seem to always strive to see the unseen. At least that's what I believe.

Thanks for visiting my blog. The Aleutians are quite the remote, rugged, and envigorating place on earth to visit and experience.

December 17, 2008 9:02 PM  
Blogger Dawn Fine said...

I will be spending a few weeks in the panhandle this winter...i will keep an eye out for that one...

December 18, 2008 10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Common sense tells us that real birds can be relocated and photographed. That's what Cornell thought, that's what Hill thought, that's what we all thought.

It's true. REAL birds can be relocated and photographed.

December 23, 2008 9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw a presentation by Geoff Hill at the Adams County Amish Bird Symposium last March. His audio and video raised the hair on the back of my neck (unlike the Luneau video) and rekindled those feelings of hope that Bernie refers to, which had begun to fade. Hill seems to me to be the one of the more level-headed and objective members of the IBWO community, and I appreciate him putting the evidence out there for everyone to evaluate.

Of course, whether we believe the species still exists or not makes no difference in whether it does or doesn't, but belief or hope does affect our commitment to protecting areas that may be its last refuges. Those hopes, and our activism on behalf of IBWO habitat, may well be on the way to extinction without irrefutable evidence.

December 23, 2008 2:19 PM  

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