Tag Archives: Birder’s World

ivory-billed woodpecker news

I have to throw my hat in the ring and at least comment on this. Someone named Daniel Rainsong says he has photos of an Ivory-billed woodpecker in the Sabine River Basin in East Texas taken on December 29, 2009. Okay. Bring it on.

Here’s the beginning of a blog post written by Matt Mendenhall, associate editor at Birder’s World that does a great job of summarizing what’s known about this claim so far.

Woodpecker experts haven’t seen supposed Ivory-bill photos

 

At the risk of giving credibility to a possible hoax, here’s what we know about the latest report of an Ivory-billed Woodpecker sighting.

If Daniel Rainsong has photos of a living Ivory-billed Woodpecker, as this press release claims, he has not yet shown them to two leading Ivory-bill experts.

Van Remsen, curator of birds at Louisiana State University’s Museum of Natural Science and an adjunct professor of biological sciences at LSU, told me today that Rainsong visited him in Baton Rouge, “but he would not show me his photographic evidence. He said he had to develop them.”

The comment suggested that Rainsong used a film camera. “I’ll believe it when I see it,” Remsen added. “I won’t comment until I see the evidence.” (click here to read the entire post . . .)

There is no one who would be more thrilled than I if this turned out to be true. For several years it was all-ivory-bill, all the time because my husband Tim Gallagher was one of the first to rediscover the species in Arkansas. Tim subsequently wrote about his rediscovery and Cornell’s efforts in his book The Grail Bird. I also wrote about the rediscovery in Audubon Magazine.

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status of the whooping crane

According to a blog post on Birder’s World, a record number of whooping cranes from a wild flock that winters in Texas and summers in Canada died last year. Twenty-one birds — six adults and fifteen chicks died, most likely as a result of poor habitat in Texas where a drought effected the blue crab stock, the primary food source for America’s tallest bird.

“‘Total winter mortality is estimated at 6 adults and 15 chicks, totaling 21 Whooping Cranes, a loss of 7.8 percent of the flock that was a record 270 birds in the fall,’ said Tom Stehn, Whooping Crane coordinator with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. When added to 34 birds that left Texas in spring 2008 and failed to return in fall, Stehn said 20 percent of the flock was lost during the last 12 months. The upshot is that only 249 birds will make the trip north this year. After an encouraging multi-year comeback in which flock numbers have grown each year, this marks the first year bird numbers have declined since 2001.”

Read the complete blog post.

Whooping Crane

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bird strike piece in Birder’s World in April 2009 issue

Coincidentally, Birder’s World is running a piece about the Feather Lab in DC  — the same lab that analyzed the feathers of the birds that brought down USAirways Flight 1549 into the Hudson River. The editor says the piece was written before the recent crash — just a case of good timing.

BRD-A0409-500

This extraordinary photograph was taken in 2004 at Budapest Ferihegy Airport.

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