Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Another Ivory-billed Woodpecker Sighting?

A couple of birders who recently travelled to the Arkansas Big Woods are claiming that they saw an ivory-billed woodpecker during their time in the swamp.
Only a few minutes passed before the two heard what Johnson said was the call and rapping of an ivory-billed.

"The call is very distinctive, and when he hits that tree with that bill, it sounds like a .22 (caliber) - 'bang, bang' - ricocheting through the forest," Johnson said.....

"About 80 feet in front of me, I saw something flush from the base of a tree," Johnson said. "As the bird came up, I got a real good look at it. The bottom half of the top side of wing was white, and this bird had a 30-inch wingspan.

"There's no doubt in my mind it was not a pileated. A pileated doesn't have that marking on top, and it's not as big a bird, and this one had two white stripes up its neck. I had about a two-second look at it, and I feel it was a female bird because I did not see a red crest.

"We just happened to sneak up on him and flush him," he said. "Otherwise, we would have never known he was there."
Unfortunately, without further documentation, we cannot be sure that what they are reporting is accurate. But Cornell's research in the area shows that we need to take such claims more seriously than we would have just one year ago.