Sunday, May 01, 2005

The Ivory-Billed Woodpecker Lives!

PHOTO BY JAMES T. TANNER This is the news that needs top billing, splashed across the newspapers in very large bold type, carried from blog to blog, number one on search engine searches: IT LIVES! Ivorybilled Woodpeckers spotted in Arkansas.

Three years ago, the National Geographic announced an expedition by Cornell University to search for the "Lord God" bird in the bayous of Louisiana. It was not a successful mission. No ivory-bills were spotted or heard. In fact, many thought this bird was extinct, killed off for their three-inch ivory colored bill in the early part of the century. No one has seen these elusive birds since James and Nancy Tanner in the 1930s. James took the photo above.

But now, America's largest woodpecker was documented by a member of that erstwhile team of searchers from Cornell and it's verified as an ivory billed woodpecker! Science magazine and NewScientist carry the breaking news. The ivory-billed was found in Arkansas, not Louisiana.

The actual four-second video is on the web for all who share in the excitement of the find.

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