May 02, 2005
See the ivory–billed woodpecker with your very own eyes
No one dreamed it was possible but it is a fact: the ivory–billed woodpecker (in an artist's rendering above), thought extinct since 1944, lives.
There's a link here to video footage which ornithology experts say conclusively demonstrates that at least one of the great birds is alive and well, deep in the swampy forests of Eastern Arkansas.
In a report which appears in the current issue of Science magazine, the bird's return from the dead is noted after a series of sightings over the past year.
John James Audubon described the bird as "this great chieftain of the woodpecker tribe."
The largest of American woodpeckers, the ivory–bill is about 20 inches in height with a 30–inch wingspan, formidable bill and sharp black–and–white coloring, the male sporting a striking, unmistakable blood-red crest.
A description of the bird in a 1917 book noted that "at the foot of ancient trees, huge piles of bark and slabs of wood are found which give convincing evidence of its power as a feathered axman."
The ivory–bill was called "The Lord God Bird" by Teddy Roosevelt because that's what people said when they saw it.
May 2, 2005 at 10:01 AM | Permalink
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