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My Search For the Ivory Billed Woodpecker
ANGRY MOBS AND IDIOTS













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Interestingly, I just read the account of the recent january sighting of the ivory-bill in the auburn team's search area in north florida. I chuckled because I have found myself with camera in hand cursing myself because of no picture. Amazingly the throngs have come out to rip this man apart regarding his sighting and what I find interesting is that the more miles there are between north florida and the commenter the more vicious the attack.
 
A case in point, this post just appeared in a most popular bird themed forum, "
The circumstances surrounding the reporting of that sighting are so ridiculously stupid that it absolutely beggars belief.

Three years into the search effort and despite the controversy, Hill has the balls to claim one of his searchers had a sighting, and then links to sketch that is completely inconsistent with an IBWO?? WTF? Does the guy not care about his career or doesn’t he know what one looks like? And WTF is he doing employing searchers that don’t know what IBWOs look like?

In 20-years of birding and 10-years of science I’ve never encountered such complete incompetence.

Hill et al. - pack up and go home. You're a joke!"
 
Amazing. A man has taken it upon himself to go out, with others and search for a bird. Mind you, a bird. Albeit an important find if it is there. He has not attacked anyone, he has simply gone into the wilderness to search for a bird, trying to prove it's existence. And the above poster has decided that horrible contempt is due. Interestingly as well is the poster's location, the United Kingdom.
 
Another case in point.
 
"Visitors to the Auburn site should follow the link to http://www.angelfire.com/id/wildscen...oodpecker.html

where there is a sketch *drawn from memory 2 days after the sighting* (does anyone EVER learn?) which shows an underwing pattern entirely wrong for IBWO - in a 3-4 second view I cannot see how anyone would not notice any white in the primaries, and/or, as a wildlife artist, not notice there is something wrong here. Also see the quote:

"Watch for my painting of the Ivory Billed Woodpecker. I've been told that I am the first wildlife artist to see a live Ivory Bill since Don Eckleberry in the 1930's!" - i wonder if the plimage features will have been corrected by then??"
 
Again, a generously humane commentary from the UK. I love how the comments are made regarding the accuracy of the man's drawing. Especially from someone who has seen the ivory-billed woodpecker????
 
Every American bird enthusiast should be as completely competent as our British birder neighbors, who really do know the truth, so much that they would not bother coming to look for themselves. And yet, this man who was fortunate enough to see the bird in north florida is a sad case because he made the drawing two days later, and mind you, the drawing was all wrong according to the following posters,,,who by the way have seen the bird how many times??
 
"where there is a sketch *drawn from memory 2 days after the sighting* (does anyone EVER learn?) which shows an underwing pattern entirely wrong for IBWO - in a 3-4 second view I cannot see how anyone would not notice any white in the primaries, and/or, as a wildlife artist, not notice there is something wrong here. "
 
"The crest was noted as red... but the bill didn't stand out as noticeable. Hmmm! At least the red rules out Velvet scoter!"
 
"Have to agree with your conclusion on THAT sketch Ilya"
 
My disbelief is that grown people can make an assesment and attack someone from so far away, simply out of contempt. None of these people have seen the bird. None of these people have spent any appreciable time in the swamp looking, and yet all of these people would call each and every observer a fool and a liar, simply because the bird has not been handed to their highly prestigious hands.
 
Hate hate and more hate.
 
Gotta love it.
 
For the record, under certain angles the black in the ivory bill wing as seen from underneath can appear to be rather bold along the outer edges, giving the appearance that the white trailing edge ends well before the wing tip, certainly in an excited state a first observer may percieve it to be alot more.
 
Even if you examine the sketches made by Gallagher and Harrison after their initial view of the DORSAL side of the bird you will see a heavy black border. The screaming British peanut gallery aside, this is an impression that is easy to get. The reality is that the first two feathers at the tip are fully black and depending on the position of the wing in flight the bird may appear to have alot of black at the end.
 
Regarding the white bill, even Tanner, for those who worship his words, said that the bill was not a good field mark.  My first observation was of a bird moving from tree to tree and unlike others I was drawn to the bill only because I had seen the pictures and wanted to see how wide it was. She was flying with her bill open as I have observed many times after. It appeared very white. I have seen birds where the bill was not standing out in flight. I have seen birds with greenish or yellowish color has shown on the bill. Reasons unknown.
 
Time and again it is stated how the bird is easily confused with the pileated. This is not possible. I can see how a person who has never seen an ivory-bill might think a pileated is one, but there is no reason for a birder or bird enthusiast to think this, and to suggest that the Auburn proffessor is mistaking a pileated for an ivory-bill or worse lying, well it is a shame. But it becomes easy to do if you live in the UK. Distance makes it safe to attack people.
 
Regarding feeding sign, here are a couple of videos that will show what a pileated can do, and then think about wasting your time trying to determine if scaling has been done by an ivorybill or pileated. My point here is that if you just go out and OBSERVE rather than over analyze the environment you may have better luck at seeing your quarry.