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Old 29th April 2011, 11:40 AM   #1
BenBurch
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Ivory-Billed Woodpecker Sighted and Recorded

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0428132236.htm

Quote:
ScienceDaily (Apr. 28, 2011) Dr. Michael Collins, Naval Research Laboratory scientist and bird watcher, has published an article titled "Putative audio recordings of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker (Campephilus principalis)" which appears in the March issue of the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. The audio recordings were captured in two videos of birds with characteristics consistent with the Ivory-billed Woodpecker. This footage was obtained near the Pearl River in Louisiana, where there is a history of unconfirmed reports of this species. During five years of fieldwork, Collins had ten sightings and also heard the characteristic "kent" calls of this species on two occasions.

<SNIP>
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Old 29th April 2011, 11:55 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by BenBurch View Post

Thanks for the link. There sure is a lot of putative-ness in that article.

As a fairly avid birdwatcher for nearly 50 years, I follow this saga with more than a passing interest. Given the many false alarms over the years, I'd probably be quite reserved about being convinced just yet.
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Old 29th April 2011, 12:07 PM   #3
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I've been following this as well for a long time and think this is real mccoy and yay
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Old 29th April 2011, 12:17 PM   #4
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I'm still pulling for Creekfreak. Once he gets that Ivory Billed video footage he swears he can get, he can re-build the bigfoot hunting boat.
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Old 29th April 2011, 12:20 PM   #5
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I suppose I'd be missing the point of the JREF if I crossed my fingers about this one, but what the heck.
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Old 29th April 2011, 12:22 PM   #6
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way cool if true. here's hoping.
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Old 29th April 2011, 12:23 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by The Shrike View Post
I suppose I'd be missing the point of the JREF if I crossed my fingers about this one, but what the heck.
Crossing the fingers works for me!

Here's to hoping it's true. One less place for Target to build.
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Old 29th April 2011, 12:41 PM   #8
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Whoa. This stuff is pretty interesting. Check out videos and other files ancillary to the paper here: http://ftp.aip.org/epaps/j_acoust_so...03/readme.html
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Old 29th April 2011, 12:48 PM   #9
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Those stills look like Blobpeckers to me..
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Old 29th April 2011, 02:19 PM   #10
The Shrike
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Originally Posted by Skeptical Greg View Post
Those stills look like Blobpeckers to me..
Obviously, we should be cautious about getting too excited about this information, but here's what I like about it. First, Collins presents two independent assessments of size, one of a perched bird and one taken from one of the videos. Even eyeballing length on the perched bird, I get ~ 48cm. His bird in flight measurements (he says) put the wingspan over 24". (Sorry to mix units here.) So it's a big woodpecker, the length of the first out of the range of Pileated; the wingspan I'm not sure, but he makes the point that the wings are not fully extended when measured around 24".

The other thing I like is the white in the wing in the stills. It's definitely dorsal surface, and certainly looks like trailing edge.
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Old 1st May 2011, 02:03 AM   #11
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I'm skeptical. there's some recent evidence that sub-oscines may learn new songs in some cases, as in the bell bird of tropical Central American rain forests. perhaps the piliated has picked up new tricks?

Also possible that rascally sorts have altered the paint on the piliated woodpecker.
There must be some strong incentives for hoaxing in the case of this bird.
Still, there are a few examples of species thought long extinct that were eventually located.
If a few do survive, I pity them for the rush of people that will invade their possible remaining niches.
I've heard rumors of a few thriving American Chestnut trees, which I can't verify. Supposedly, their location is a well guarded secret, which plays to the skeptic , but would also be essential for those trees survival chances.

With the Ivory Bill, it would likely require a dead one in someone's hands to put the matter to a close.
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Old 1st May 2011, 06:09 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by quarky View Post
I've heard rumors of a few thriving American Chestnut trees, which I can't verify. Supposedly, their location is a well guarded secret, which plays to the skeptic , but would also be essential for those trees survival chances.
They're neither rumors, nor secret. Here's a list of where hundreds of surviving trees are located in various states:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/America...ving_specimens

The only one in that list which could possibly fit the above description is the one near Lake Erie, in the paragraph starting "In March 2008..." but that seems to be as much because of the eagle that was nesting in it as the tree itself.

I do agree that the woodpecker situation is different, simply because you can't walk up to a woodpecker, get your picture taken with it, then clone it like a tree.
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Old 1st May 2011, 11:51 AM   #13
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What do they taste like?

(ducks)
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Old 1st May 2011, 12:06 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by RenaissanceBiker View Post
What do they taste like?

(ducks)
No, not ducks. They taste like chicken, silly goose.
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Old 1st May 2011, 05:35 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Pup View Post
They're neither rumors, nor secret. Here's a list of where hundreds of surviving trees are located in various states:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/America...ving_specimens

The only one in that list which could possibly fit the above description is the one near Lake Erie, in the paragraph starting "In March 2008..." but that seems to be as much because of the eagle that was nesting in it as the tree itself.

I do agree that the woodpecker situation is different, simply because you can't walk up to a woodpecker, get your picture taken with it, then clone it like a tree.
Haven't looked at your link yet, though I am aware of American Chestnuts that continue to sprout live stems. there are some on my land, in fact. But none that can reproduce. I know lots of effort goes into bringing them back, but I've haven't heard of any that are blight free or reproductive.
I hope I'm wrong. What a fabulous tree we used to have. All the old houses and barns around here are chestnut logs and boards.
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Old 1st May 2011, 06:11 PM   #16
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Try Pup's link folks - it's a simple way to learn more about chestnuts. Anybody here ever see any of the mature trees listed? Like quarky I've seen many young chestnuts but never a great big one. (Related - I have seen some mature American Elms and they're pretty spectacular.)

Meantime, Collins' ivorybill stuff: I'd like to hear what people think after really looking at it. He lays out his case on his fishcrow.com website. A lot of it seems a bit out there and blobpeckery, but when I take my time and really go through his images I find them compelling. Am I missing something (or adding something)?
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Old 1st May 2011, 06:28 PM   #17
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I was pumped the other day to finally get to read the April 1926 edition of Amazing stories. Now I realize I cant even see the bottom of the pecking order when it comes to nerdiness
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Old 1st May 2011, 06:40 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by The Shrike View Post
Try Pup's link folks - it's a simple way to learn more about chestnuts. Anybody here ever see any of the mature trees listed? Like quarky I've seen many young chestnuts but never a great big one. (Related - I have seen some mature American Elms and they're pretty spectacular.)
There was a lone mature Am. Chestnut on my step-mother's property in Blowing Rock, NC up to about 10 years ago. It finally gave up and she had it milled into 5/4 boards that are still in the rafters of the barn, awaiting a project. Ever since, the stump has always been surrounded by several saplings growing up from the old roots, but they never get more than 10 feet tall before dying. It was a big tree, maybe three feet in diameter, but it always looked sickly (in the 20 years I knew it).

I've seen another, healthier chestnut in Linville Gorge several miles from Blowing Rock. It was a monster 20 years ago, growing at the head of a small spring. I'll have to go find it again and take some pics - maybe get it added to the wiki list.
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Old 2nd May 2011, 12:17 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by BenBurch View Post
I've been following this from the outset initially at the Cornell site.

I've always been sceptical of the initial sightings and the resultant 5 year search nearly justifies my scepticism.

And so with this latest announcement.

Audio and blurry video.

The problem with the audio evidence (as per Cornell's "hardline" approach to ID) is that there are no recordings of an Ivory-billed Woodpecker to compare these recordings to. All they have are descriptions of their call and the famous "double-knock".

As exciting as it would be to rediscover an extinct species, personally, I wouldn't be ticking these sightings off in my Life List (if I had one).
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Old 2nd May 2011, 06:33 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by EHocking View Post
The problem with the audio evidence (as per Cornell's "hardline" approach to ID) is that there are no recordings of an Ivory-billed Woodpecker to compare these recordings to. All they have are descriptions of their call and the famous "double-knock".
We do have recordings of "kent" calls from Tanner's work, as well as recordings of double knocks from other Campephilus woodpeckers. That said, I agree that it's difficult to conclude anything definitive from audio. Collins' description of the context in which he heard some of these sounds is anecdotal and of limited value as well.

I'm most interested in hearing what people think about the evidence in the videos and stills on Collins' website. On the perched bird, I see evidence of a woodpecker that appears to be demonstrably larger than a Pileated. From his treetop video, he shows a still of a bird with a broad white trailing edge to the wings on the dorsal surface. I guess I'm wondering why he's not publishing on this stuff, and if there's something I'm missing here.
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Old 3rd May 2011, 02:43 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by The Shrike View Post
We do have recordings of "kent" calls from Tanner's work, as well as recordings of double knocks from other Campephilus woodpeckers.
I stand corrected, so there is. That'll teach me for relying on memory rather than Google.
Quote:
That said, I agree that it's difficult to conclude anything definitive from audio. Collins' description of the context in which he heard some of these sounds is anecdotal and of limited value as well.
Also, from the Cornell site, there are a number of examples of "sound-alikes" that are as varied as Grey Squirrels or Grackles.
Quote:
I'm most interested in hearing what people think about the evidence in the videos and stills on Collins' website.
IMO? The images are so small and the object is so far from the observer that little definitive detail can be ascertained from them to distinguish the subject from, say, a Pileated.
Quote:
On the perched bird, I see evidence of a woodpecker that appears to be demonstrably larger than a Pileated.
Personally, I don't. From Fig.1 in the pdf document I measure the 1.41m fork as 95mm and the bird (fudging a bit to allow for tail) as 30mm, which is approximately the equivalent of 45cm "in real life". From the wiki entry for Pileated, the body size ranges from 16-19" (40-48cm). The wiki and Cornell entries for the IBWP put it at 18-20" (45-51cm), for me, not a measurement that can be used to distinguish that bird from a Pileated.
Quote:
From his treetop video, he shows a still of a bird with a broad white trailing edge to the wings on the dorsal surface.
Whereas in the the photos in the Supplemental section at this page, looks to me like a perfect match for the underwing pattern (cornell) of a Pileated.

Which section/image from Collins' page http://ftp.aip.org/epaps/journ_acous...AN-129-024103/ are you referring to? We may be talking about different images.
Quote:
I guess I'm wondering why he's not publishing on this stuff, and if there's something I'm missing here.
What makes me wonder is, on two of his videos he's presenting as evidence for an Ivory-billed, he does this to the video evidence:
Movie S4. Video of the encounter on February 20, 2006, from just after the bird was observed until the flapping leap more than ten minutes later. ... Note that the field of view was nearly centered on the location of the bird just before the camera zoomed in on the bird a little over 10 minutes into the movie. Resolution has been reduced in this movie, which is not intended to show details of the bird.

Movie S7. A putative double knock in the 2008 video. Immediately after the putative double knock, which occurs about 24 s into the movie, the camera pans toward the direction in which the bird was detected about 101 s into the movie. ... Resolution has been reduced in this movie, which is not intended to show details of the bird.
Huh? Two videos presented as evidence for a sighting and he reduces the resolution so the bird cannot be identified?

If I were a more suspicious man, I might think that Dr.Collins is not as confident in the evidence as he makes out. He is certainly convinced that what he's seen are IBWP, but his evidence IMO fails. If any crypto"zoologists" or others of that ilk treated video evidence in the manner he has in this instance sceptics would be all over them like a rash. It does not make sense.

Now, certainly I've been in a position where I've "positively" ID'd a bird (or animal) only to have the resultant photo to be poorly exposed or out of focus and not presentably as evidence. I understand the frustration of being in that position. But usually you attempt to enhance the photo/video in order to pull some detail out to help your case - whereas Collins seems to be making his evidence less useful by removing detail.

Weird thing to do.

In short (regardless of the last two paragraphs) on the evidence presented, I remain sceptical. We've still got "blob-peckers", IMO.
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Old 3rd May 2011, 08:43 PM   #22
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As a non bird watcher, can someone clue me in to the importance of this.

I would venture a guess and say that it sounds like they have been assumed to be extinct, or at least extinct in the wild. Is that it?

If someone would be so kind, a little background info would be appreciated.
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Old 3rd May 2011, 08:45 PM   #23
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Yes - last confirmed sighting I think was 1944 or some such - lots of anedotes.
Here is all you need to know

http://www.birdviewing.com/?page=ivorybillcenter
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Old 4th May 2011, 07:06 PM   #24
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"Whereas in the the photos in the Supplemental section at this page, looks to me like a perfect match for the underwing pattern (cornell) of a Pileated."

Are you talking about the image on the right in the third row of Fig. S1? As stated in the caption, that is indeed a Pileated. It's included in order to compare with the shape of the wings of the bird in the video.

"Huh? Two videos presented as evidence for a sighting and he reduces the resolution so the bird cannot be identified?"

As stated in the paper and in the captions for Movies 4 and 7, the purpose of these movies is to show various aspects of the encounter. Movie 4 is more than 10 minutes, which would require a prohibitively large file in full resolution. The key parts of the videos are shown at full resolution in the other movies. Since Movie 7 plays at full speed, it does give an impression of how fast the bird was flying.

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Old 4th May 2011, 08:29 PM   #25
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I hope that the IBWP is still around, but i looked at all the movies and listened to the sounds on the link The Shrike posted, and I see images that could be interpreted any number of ways. The idea that anyone can make good-faith estimates of size seems fishy to me; the footage was massively zoomed into a mass of vegetation, and the image was a little bit blurry; any estimate of size from these videos would carry a huge error bar.
I also heard a lot of sounds, but again, saying that one hears an IBWP-like sound (based on 70-year old recordings,) and saying that the blurry image of a bird that one next captures is the source of the IBWP-like sounds that one heard, is, at best, a guesstimate. Is it more or less likely that there exist in the Louisiana swamps both a sound that seems to be like an IBWP sound as well as a bird that can seem to be like what people seem to say an IBWP seemed to look like, or that the supposed sound and blurry image must be linked?
I hope I'm wrong, but this is evidence that I would laugh at a bigfooter for presenting as solid.
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Old 5th May 2011, 05:24 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by cinclodes View Post
Quote:
"Whereas in the the photos in the Supplemental section at this page, looks to me like a perfect match for the underwing pattern (cornell) of a Pileated."
Are you talking about the image on the right in the third row of Fig. S1? As stated in the caption, that is indeed a Pileated. It's included in order to compare with the shape of the wings of the bird in the video.
well, that's why I asked, " Which section/image from Collins' page http://ftp.aip.org/epaps/journ_acous...AN-129-024103/ are you referring to? We may be talking about different images."

I'm not sure which image is being referred to in the initial question from The Shrike.
Quote:
Quote:
"Huh? Two videos presented as evidence for a sighting and he reduces the resolution so the bird cannot be identified?"
As stated in the paper and in the captions for Movies 4 and 7, the purpose of these movies is to show various aspects of the encounter. Movie 4 is more than 10 minutes, which would require a prohibitively large file in full resolution.
Well, at this stage we were only discussing the media files at the ftp site and in the "readme" text this wasn't obvious. So yes, I should have read the paper in conjunction with the "readme" file, but an enhanced version of the key sightings would, IMO, have been more useful.

That said, movie 6 is quite tantalizing as it certainly gives the impression of white secondaries and most of the primaries.
Quote:
The key parts of the videos are shown at full resolution in the other movies. Since Movie 7 plays at full speed, it does give an impression of how fast the bird was flying.
The problem is that what is needed is a similar video of a Pileated in flight for a similar distance to see if this is a. significant b. significantly different to a Pileated.

Oh, and welcome to the Forum.
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Old 6th May 2011, 03:20 PM   #27
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Here are some specifics about some things I find interesting in Collins' photos:

The first one (perched bird):

With respect to size, and assuming Collins has accurately rendered the scale of the y-shaped branch, I come up with a ballpark estimate of 48 cm for the bird in the photo. While this is in the range for Pileated Woodpecker (apparently up to 49 cm reported), the first two sources I checked listed the length of Pileated at 42 cm. If it's Pileated, it's right at the upper end of size for them, and potentially a shade larger even than that. Inconclusive, however.

The shape, more so than the size, is interesting. I do like (for Ivorybill) the apparent fluffiness or raggedness of the crest and especially the relative thinness of the neck. I assume we could find an odd photo of a Pileated looking like that, but it really looks much more Campephilus than Dryocopus to me. Ultimately inconclusive, however.

Stills of bird in flight from 2008 video:

Wing shape - in the top image, the shape does look relatively long and narrow. When I see Pileateds in flight, I'm often struck by how rounded their wings appear - kind of like a chickadee's. I don't get that roundness on this bird.

Wing color - Here's where I really think these images need a closer look (bottom image). If we're seeing what we're being told we're seeing, i.e., dorsal surface of a bird in flight, then what else could we be looking at here other than a broad, white trailing edge on the dorsal wing surface? I suppose I'm unable to rule out Greater Scaup, but it sure doesn't look like a Pileated Woodpecker.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. Collins' information was new to me and I want to make sure I give it a fair shake.
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Old 6th May 2011, 04:35 PM   #28
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Just a short note on this. Had a couple of pints (so really should not be posting), but I basically agree. The argument on size of the perched bird is not something that really compels me, but jizz (USAans follow the wiki link) is quite evocative, as you say.

Also, the white primaries and secondaries in that video is probably the most evocative indication I've seen in this saga to give pause to my initial scepticism of sighting claims.

While there is the possibility in both cases for NOT being IBWP, those two pieces of visual evidence, as blurred, distant and nearly indistinct as they are, are very compelling and I'm starting to waver in my scepticism.

This is the first time since the 2006(2005?) sightings that I've started to shift from the "outside possible" to the "may well be probable" (re)existence of the bird.
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Old 9th May 2011, 05:41 AM   #29
cinclodes
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"If we're seeing what we're being told we're seeing, i.e., dorsal surface of a bird in flight..."

If you study all of the movies, it will be clear that the video was obtained from above. So it is clearly the dorsal surface unless the bird was flying upside down.

"I suppose I'm unable to rule out Greater Scaup..."

Ducks keep their wings extended in flight.

"...the footage was massively zoomed into a mass of vegetation, and the image was a little bit blurry..."

Various realities come into play when attempting to find these birds. It takes a lot of luch to have one sighting per every several months spent mucking around in the swamp. It's difficult to keep a camera ready at all times for such rare encounters that last for only a few seconds. Unexpected problems may arise. In the case of the second video, a high-def camera was on hand , but it was not working due to moisture condensation. A standard-def camera was used as a back-up. Besides having fewer pixels, it does not have manual focus. The camera focused on tree branches in the foreground. The observation position was selected to watch for birds flying over the treetops, not a bird flying below where tree branches are in the way.

The comments above are interesting but limited to isolated still frames. The video also contains dynamic information, such as the motion of the wingtips, the flap rate, the flight speed, and the unusual flapping leap in the first video.
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Old 9th May 2011, 07:32 AM   #30
The Shrike
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Originally Posted by cinclodes View Post
If you study all of the movies, it will be clear that the video was obtained from above. So it is clearly the dorsal surface unless the bird was flying upside down.
Or the still is from the bird's reflection on the water, rather than a direct shot of the dorsal surface.


Originally Posted by cinclodes View Post
Ducks keep their wings extended in flight.
Indeed, but I cannot confirm that the bird in the still photo pulled its wings close to the body in between beats without the ability to view clear, successive, still frames.

These technical aspects of the imagery and analysis (of which I am woefully ignorant) are just as important to nail down as any ornithological aspects of the evidence (which I am better able to critique). Thus, while I find this information of great interest, it's very difficult for me to climb on Collins' bandwagon until I read some critiques from other folks who might be able to fill in some of the blanks for me.
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Old 9th May 2011, 11:51 AM   #31
cinclodes
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"Or the still is from the bird's reflection on the water, rather than a direct shot of the dorsal surface."

"Indeed, but I cannot confirm that the bird in the still photo pulled its wings close to the body in between beats without the ability to view clear, successive, still frames."

It is indeed a direct shot, and the wings are clearly folded closed during each wingbeat. These facts are easy to see by stepping through the videos. By the way, Collins does not have a bandwagon. I can say that with authority since I am Collins.
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Old 9th May 2011, 12:02 PM   #32
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"...it's very difficult for me to climb on Collins' bandwagon until I read some critiques from other folks..."

Discussions of this bird have been going on for many years. Unfortunately, logic and reason went out the window long ago. The kind of critiques you are likely to hear are sweeping statements such as "the data are not conclusive" without specific details to support such claims. This has even occurred during the peer review process. In one case, a reviewer claimed that unnamed authority figures (members of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker Recovery Team) had convincingly dismissed the data. If that were true, then why didn't the reviewer provide details? And why didn't the editor tell the reviewer to provide those details? The paper lays out a simple argument based on the fact that only two large species native to Louisiana have such a distinctive flap style, but several characteristics rule out Pileated Woodpecker.
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Old 9th May 2011, 12:59 PM   #33
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There was a documentary movie made a couple years ago about this alleged re-discovery. It is named "Ghost Bird". The movie is making its way to TV. I recently saw it advertised to be shown on cable's Documentary Channel on May 14. Read about it and see the trailer HERE.
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Old 9th May 2011, 01:48 PM   #34
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Welcome to the board, cinclodes. You can probably expect a rough time here, but no rougher than you are accustomed to. Unfortunately, birdwatching, by its very nature, is usually a solitary activity. This usually means that there's no corroborating account. That, combined with fuzzy photos and video, makes this smell a lot like bigfoot sightings.

You have no idea how much I want to believe you are right. I'm inclined to believe you, but I'm not thoroughly convinced, yet. I've followed the Ivory Billed story for close to 20 years, now. I'm afraid that my enthusiasm might lead me astray which is why I want to be extra cautious.

Thanks for posting here,

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Old 9th May 2011, 04:26 PM   #35
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"You can probably expect a rough time here..."

I don't intend to spend much time on this forum. I gave up on such discussions years ago for reasons that should be obvious to anyone who participates on such forums. I heard there were some comments posted here and decided to post a few remarks to encourage folks to look deeper. Comments about bigfoot sightings are offensive and ignorant. There is no comparison. This is a species that is known to exist (or to have existed to many). It is simply an incredibly difficult bird to observe. The videos are blurry, but I believe they are much better than anything else that has been obtained. This will be my last post here. I would encourage anyone interested in this species to read the paper and look at the data.
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Old 9th May 2011, 04:46 PM   #36
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cinclodes, supposedly extinct creatures are indeed recovered occasionally. You don't need to feel ashamed simply because you think this might be the case here. I have my hopes as well.
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Old 9th May 2011, 05:16 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by BenBurch View Post
cinclodes, supposedly extinct creatures are indeed recovered occasionally. You don't need to feel ashamed simply because you think this might be the case here. I have my hopes as well.
The IUCN has listed the Ivory Billed Woodpecker as critically endangered since 2000. It was listed as extinct in 1994.

Whenever I look at the stuffed Ivory Billed Woodpeckers in our local museum, I harbor some faint hopes we will find this species alive. But it's much more likely that they are gone forever.
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Old 9th May 2011, 06:18 PM   #38
wardenclyffe
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Originally Posted by cinclodes View Post
Comments about bigfoot sightings are offensive and ignorant. There is no comparison.
Perhaps comparing it to Thylacine sightings would be more appropriate. I still have hope. Did not mean to insult.

Ward
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Old 9th May 2011, 07:32 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by MG1962 View Post
I was pumped the other day to finally get to read the April 1926 edition of Amazing stories. Now I realize I cant even see the bottom of the pecking order when it comes to nerdiness
Bro, my wife is pumped because she found a message board where people can argue the species and genera of fish.

"When I was at the Shedd Aquarium the freshwater fish followed me around like puppies, but I couldn't even look at them because so many had been misidentified. I was embarrassed for my species."

"The ads are all about where to get your PhD. None about a local housewife who made $67,000 while losing 67 pounds. It was like I wasn't even online."

You'd need a telescope to see the bottom.


ETA: Ten years ago I told her that she, with her firmly-held opinions regarding fossil invertebrates and jawed fish (they "ruined everything," but she still loves them; "They can't help it,"), was a natural for the internet. She is just now finding her place among the cranky, but knowledgeable, amateurs who have always been the core of science, and the internet.

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Old 10th May 2011, 04:33 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by cinclodes;7166588I
don't intend to spend much time on this forum. I gave up on such discussions years ago for reasons that should be obvious to anyone who participates on such forums.
Which is a pity for us, as you would have gleaned from the responses, there are a number of interested birders here that would like to be convinced by the evidence!

My personal scepticism stems from the disappointing Cornell search results (the more the looked the less they found).I felt that my initial scepticism about the ID accuracy of the original sightings of the bird was well founded, or at least supported by their subsequen lack of success.

Perhaps because of that, I had allowed the possibility to slip past me that, the original sightings and I could have been accurate and correct. The fact that others at a later date couldn't find the bird should not have been used to rule out the possibility that the first sightings were "good".
Quote:
I heard there were some comments posted here and decided to post a few remarks to encourage folks to look deeper.
I'm glad you did, and I and others would really welcome you to stick around!
Quote:
Comments about bigfoot sightings are offensive and ignorant.
I'll put my hand up as being guilty as charged (e.g., my blob-pecker remark)
Since then you have countered, and I have accepted, you counter to my "what?", regarding the quality of the video.

Being a birdwatcher I have been in the position of having a positive sighting but only in possession of less than adequate evidence for it to convince others, so realise the frustration.

Not implying that any of my sightings were anywhere near as importatn as this issue though....
Quote:
There is no comparison. This is a species that is known to exist (or to have existed to many). It is simply an incredibly difficult bird to observe. The videos are blurry, but I believe they are much better than anything else that has been obtained. This will be my last post here. I would encourage anyone interested in this species to read the paper and look at the data.
Well hopefully we might be able to persuade you to hang around.

One last. What are future plans for searching for the bird?
Cornell announced they cancelled future searches.
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