My Search For the Ivory Billed Woodpecker
Some Tips For Searching

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Well we're well into the "search season". I have run into quite a few people in the green swamp area in central Florida who have made quite a trek to catch a glimpse of the bird. I met two fellows from Connecticut who got quite a picture and I am envious they got this good of a picture on their first visit.
I thought I'd share a few tips.
1. It takes more than one visit to see the bird usually. It is more of a crap shoot because we're talking about a bird amidst thousands of acres of woods. If you are at point A and the bird is at point Z then you aren't going to see it. If you come and spend as many days as you can here and sit at point A then sooner or later the bird will pass by.
2. Be a good observer. Looking down at the ground, looking at a gps, looking at your cell phone, will not afford you the chance to see the bird. It may fly right by and you missed it. How many times has this happened during the "official" searches? One wonders.
3. Be diligent. Going into the woods for 30 minutes will only afford you the opportunity to get very lucky if you see it. It puts the odds against you seeing it. Long hours and many days.
4. Be aware of hunters. They are out there, but if you are in ideal areas to see the bird then you may never see a hunter. But bullets and such travel a long ways. Be smart.
5. No talking. Do I need to say more?
I have had my best successes by merely putting myself in the appropriate habitat and looking up. Learn to hone in on movement. Ignore mosquitos and bugs, listen, look, and pay attention.