Sunday, November 20, 2011

Ivory-billed Woodpecker News

Painting from the
Auk, 1889; Vol. 15,  No3; p217-223

     For those of you who are interested in what’s happening on the ivory-billed woodpecker front you can follow the links listed below. 

     In a nutshell, Martjan Lammertink discovered what is believed to be the only known photo documentation (16mm film) of an imperial woodpecker.  The film was shot in 1956 in the state of Durango, Mexico by amateur ornithologist William Rhein.  The imperial is a close relative of the ivory-billed woodpecker of our southern states.  In the latest issue of the Auk, Martjan, and Tim Gallagher published a scientific paper on the film, and the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology released the film for public viewing on their website.  Tim also published a popular article in Living Bird.

The Auk article abstract:

“Return to Durango”, in Living Bird magazine by Tim Gallagher:

     The film has made quite a stir.  Ivorybill investigator Bill Pullium, who has been agnostic about the Luneau ivorybill video has done an extensive analysis of the imperial woodpecker film in comparison to the Luneau ivorybill video.  In his conclusion Pullium simply states:

“The bird in the video shot by David Luneau in Arkansas in 2004 is an Ivory-billed Woodpecker, Campephilus principalis. I have no residual doubts, either personal or scientific. This species did not go extinct in 1945 or 1984, it persisted at least through 2004 and is quite likely still extant as I type these words. All the anomalies identified a priori (without foreknowledge of the Imperial film) in the flight of the Luneau bird that did not appear to line up with a Pileated Woodpecker do line up with the documented flight of an Imperial Woodpecker, the Ivorybill's closest relative.”

Bill Pullium analysis is well worth reading and can be found at this link:

An interesting series of comments about the analysis can be found on the “IVORYBILLLIVE” blog.

This link will take you to additional analysis by Bill Pullium that he posted on November 14.  The 11 comments at the end of the post are worth reading!

Also, if you are looking for updates on the ivory-billed woodpecker, you can always go my ivorybill blog at:

1 comment:

  1. Hey Bobby
    I just read Tim's book the Grail Bird and I no nothing about birds but I beilieve the Ivory Billed is not extinct. Do you think there are enough alive to bring back a vialble population?? What is the latest on sightings??

    Buddy Whittaker
    Victoria VA