Sunday, February 27, 2011

7th Anniversary of Ivory-billed Woodpecker Sighting

Some Ivory-billed Woodpecker sighting location in
Bayou Deview during 2004-2005 search season.
Sighting mention below are indicated on this map
   It was Seven years ago today that Tim Gallagher and I saw an Ivory-billed Woodpecker on Bayou Deview in the Cache River National Wildlife Refuge.   It is a day I will never forget.  I had researched and searched for the Ivory-bill for thirty-three years prior to the 2004 sighting.  Reports of Ivory-bills had been made almost every year of every decade since 1944, and research told me that they could still be extant.  On February 27th, 2004 I knew that they were.  Well, at least one.

   Over the next year I had an additional 5 sightings.  The very next day, February 28th , I saw an Ivory bill flying southwest, about a half mile south of the first sighting of the previous day.  My third sighting came on May 5th, the fourth on June 9th, and a 5th  sighting came of September 4th.  All three of these sighting were within 525 feet of each other.  My 6th sighting occurred 3/4th of a mile north of Arkansas Hwy 17 on January 22, 2005.  This sighting was special, for I saw two birds flying together.  This was the first time that I knew there was more than one Ivory-bill in the Bayou Deview search area.  Based on the number of sighting that were occurring on Bayou Deview during early 2004, I believed that at least one or more Ivory-bills were making feeding forays into Bayou Deview about once every two weeks.  

   My January 22nd sighting was the last time I positively identified Ivory-bills on Bayou Deview.   The sighting Tim and I had on February 27th 2004 was four years after a major ice storm had hit the area.   The ice storm was severe and created good feeding habitat for Ivory-bills.  Perhaps that is why there were Ivory-bills in the area when Tim and I arrived in February 2004.

To read more about the February 27th 2004 sighting follow this link:


  1. hi, new to the site, thanks.

  2. Thanks for take a look at the site. Consider becoming a follower. When you do, you will receive an email notice each time I update the blog. Please do check in often as I update every two or three days.


  3. I was so excited by Tim's book last month that before I even finished it I took emergency leave from the Post Office, ordered a kayak from Walmart, rented a car in El Paso and drove straight to Brinkley just to see where it all happened. Of course, the kayak wasn't at the Little Rock Walmart where it was supposed to be waiting for me, so I had to just drive all around the Rt 17 bridge area and walk in wherever I could. It was late in the season, so there was lots of leaves, water and poison ivy, but the bayou was beautiful! Heartbreaking to see what a pitiful remnant is left, but heartening to think that a few Ivory-bills may be making a living in that slowly recovering habitat! Can't wait to go back! (With a boat) Do you do facebook?

  4. Hi Bobby,

    You and I met in 2006 at your IBWO talk at the AMNH. I think you might remember me if I mention that my grandmother is Helen Christoffel.

    Anyhow, I'm in Memphis and will be driving across AR tomorrow and plan to stop along the route 17 bridge to see the site where you and Tim made your sightings. I've wanted to see the habitat ever since reading your book. Looking forward to it very much.

    I hope you are well.


    Jonathan Flowers

  5. Thanks for ALL you do, and your great photography. It is ONLY due to people like you (and a very small few others and some dedicated NC folks) that the Ivory Bill will have a chance to recover. IF I spotted one I would call YOU only...not folks like Cornell (as well meaning as I know they are) that would have a kajillion folks flood into the area and drive the birds away!!!!

    THANKS AGAIN...YOU give us all HOPE