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Bird lover’s dream?

Ivory billed woodpecker

Some bird lovers are hoping for evidence that a bird, thought to have vanished, is still surviving on the knife-edge of extinction. One of the largest woodpeckers in the world, the Ivory-billed woodpecker, has been filmed on video by Mark Michaels and Project Principalis.

The bird, found in swamps, pine, and old growth forests in the states near the Florida panhandle, Gulf of Mexico, South Carolina, Arizona, and Cuba. It is known to be the only bird that can remove enough tree bark to be able to eat wood-boring beetle larvae. The previous, last documented sighting in the US, was in 1944 in Louisiana. More recently, the US Fish and Wildlife was going to declare the Ivory-billed woodpecker extinct in the US.

The Project Principalis drone footage means it is possible that some are left. And if the video from Project Principalis drones is considered proof, US Fish and Wildlife will not be declaring the bird extinct at a meeting in the coming winter, as was once expected.

The ivory-billed woodpecker has several distinct features. The bird has a long bill shaped like a chisel, and its call “kent kent kent” sounds like a toy trumpet. Males have red plumage on their heads, while young males and females have black feathers. To be able to successfully rear young, the crow-sized bird family, needs 10 square miles (26 square km) of acreage to find enough food.

It has long been thought that logging and hunting resulted in the Ivory-billed woodpecker’s extinction. At one time, the property where the last sighting in 1944 occurred, was of great interest to the Audubon Society. Unfortunately, they failed and, Audubon’s could not purchase the property before it was completely logged.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has classified the bird as critically endangered. It is still up in the air whether or not the drone video from Project Principalis will be accepted and end many years of controversy about the existence of the ivory-billed woodpecker. However, the CBC Radio Show, “As it Happens”, has reported that some senior scientists, like Dr. David Bird, a retired professor from McGill University in Canada, “have now decided to keep an open mind.”

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Researchers claim to have footage of an ivory-billed woodpecker, a bird species thought long extinct. (2022, August 25). CBC/Radio-Canada https://www.cbc.ca/radio/asithappens/as-it-happens-the-wednesday-edition-1.6560092/researchers-claim-to-have-footage-of-an-ivory-billed-woodpecker-a-bird-species-thought-long-extinct-1.6560105

Ivory-Billed Woodpecker. (2015-2022). National Geographic Partners, LLC. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/birds/facts/ivory-billed-woodpecker

Do videos show ivory-billed woodpecker, or is it extinct? (2022, August 12). The Associated Press. https://phys.org/news/2022-08-videos-ivory-billed-woodpecker-extinct.html

Ivory-billed woodpecker (2022, August 19). Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivory-billed_woodpecker


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