Down in Louisiana, the last-known living pair of ivory-billed
woodpeckers carved out cavities that measured 5 1/2 inches tall by 4 inches wide.
Ghost birds; Jim Tanner and the quest for the ivory-billed
GHOST BIRDS: JIM TANNER AND THE QUEST FOR THE IVORY-BILLED
WOODPECKER, 1935-1941 comes from a naturalist who was a graduate student when he saw his first ivory-billed
woodpecker in a Louisiana swamp in 1935.
In the swamplands of Arkansas and Louisiana, teams of ornithologists searched for a bird thought extinct and not seen for 50 years, the ivory-billed
woodpecker, known as the Lord God bird because it was so beautiful people would exclaim "Lord God
Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus flavigaster--I saw one at Canon del Tigre on 2 January 2004 and two there on 13 June 2006.
Sadly, the great ivory-billed
woodpecker was not as fortunate.
Meet Joe Kenney, the ivory-billed
woodpecker of New Hampshire politics.
A birdwatchers' "Best in Show," Alex Karpovsky's mock-doc "Woodpecker" stretches its single joke--an oddball poet-birder scours an Arkansas bayou for the ivory-billed
variety of the titular feathered friend--to feature length, earning a beakful of yuks.
THE SOURCE: "Bottomland Ghost: Southern Encounters and Obsessions With the Ivory-Billed
Woodpecker" by Michael K.
Scientists soaring through trees and camping out with ivory-billed
woodpeckers are our action heroes.
WHEN Emily Dickinson wrote "Hope is the thing with feathers," we can be sure that she was not talking about the ivory-billed
Until its rediscovery on the Cache River National Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas of 2004, most people would have said that the ivory-billed
woodpecker (Campephilus principalis) was extinct.
The bird had large white patches on the trailing edges of its wings and a vee of white stripes on its back--characteristic features of the ivory-billed
woodpecker, last seen in the United States 60 years before and widely believed to be extinct.
Last April, scientists announced that an ivory-billed
woodpecker, last seen in 1944, had been spotted in an Arkansas swamp forest on more than eight occasions.
Reports that the ivory-billed
woodpecker, long thought to be extinct, is still with us thrilled bird watchers and others, but this sort of second chance seldom occurs in nature.