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      Whatbird Forums Rules   01/08/17

      'Help Me Identify a Bird' rules: When posting a new thread, please: 1. Read the FAQ and forum rules before posting 2. Include the location in your Post when seeking ID 3. Include the date of the sighting 4. Provide a photo or detailed description of the bird Forum rules: By posting in the WhatBird forums you agree to the following board rules: 1. You will be tolerant and respectful of your fellow members 2. You will not spam 3. You will not post sexually explicit, vulgar or racist material 4. You will not advertise or sell products 5. You will not discuss illegal activities 6. You will keep topics of religion and politics to a bare minimum 7. You will not take advantage of chat to break any of the above rules. 8. Members will not discuss homosexuality nor make any comments about others' sexuality. Breaking any of these rules may result in a suspension or a permanent ban from the forums!! Furthermore, anyone who causes continuous dissent and disarray in the forums will be banned as seen fit by the forum moderators under the pretense of "trolling." Gallery photos: Regarding photos in the Whatbird gallery, please keep in mind that the copyright belongs to the person who took the photo. So please do not use any of the Gallery photos without requesting permission from the photographer. Forum Photos: If you use photos other than your own, please place a link to the referenced photo and do not post other photographer's work directly.
    • Aveschapines

      Found a baby bird or a sick or injured bird?   07/11/17

      Here is a short article with advice for what to do if you find a baby bird or one that appears to be sick or injured. Bird rescue article Please feel free to post here if you have questions or need more help.
Lance2411

Pileated or Ivory-Billed Woodpecker??? Spotted & Recorded in forest (Crockett, TX) on 12/30/17

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There are reputable scientists who are still searching for Ivory-bills, with a certain amount of evidence. I've talked to two of them in the last 10 years who aren't convinced they're gone -- one is on the AOU checklist committee. Ruling anything out by "it's extinct" rather than looking at the evidence presented makes no sense to me, especially when the issue really does appear to be in doubt.

Having said that, the bird in question is clearly a Pileated. Incidentally, the description of "wooded swamps" appears to be too restrictive -- I believe much of their habitat was lowland forests, but not necessarily the Cypress-Tupelo swamps.

Oh, apparently there were reliable sightings of Carolina Parakeets in the Santee region of South Carolina into the 1930's, and likely sightings of Ivory-bills there into the 1950's.

 

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9 minutes ago, psweet said:

Oh, apparently there were reliable sightings of Carolina Parakeets in the Santee region of South Carolina into the 1930's, and likely sightings of Ivory-bills there into the 1950's.

The '50s Ivory-Bill sightings upriver from Santee were among the driving factors for establishing the Congaree Swamp National Monument.  Now the Congaree National Park, it's one of the largest unlogged tracts of bottom land in the eastern US with many national record trees, and is an eBird hotspot.  You can't move there without tripping over the Pileateds, but I haven't spotted any IBWO there (yet).  It's a somewhat underutilized park, great if you want to get outdoors without fighting the crowds at other parks.

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Hey I saw a dodo get eaten by a chupacabra yesterday. Too bad the sasquatch came in and took the chupacabra before I could get a pic.:P

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17 minutes ago, Nighthawk01 said:

Hey I saw a dodo get eaten by a chupacabra yesterday. Too bad the sasquatch came in and took the chupacabra before I could get a pic.:P

Dude, I'm calling BS on this one.  Everyone knows chupacabras migrate out of Missouri by late September.  Go check eBird; I guarantee you will not find any records of one being seen in the US in January.

:D

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40 minutes ago, Charlie Spencer said:

Dude, I'm calling BS on this one.  Everyone knows chupacabras migrate out of Missouri by late September.  Go check eBird; I guarantee you will not find any records of one being seen in the US in January.

:D

You failed to account for global warming and banana ships (See Californi’s 4 Nazca Boobies for more details)

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6 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

Next y'all are gonna be telling me Elvis is dead too.  Y'all just keep believing that stuff.  I gots me a tin foil hat that keeps the gubermint from zapping muh brain with their radiation waves.

;)

HA!

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9 hours ago, psweet said:

There are reputable scientists who are still searching for Ivory-bills, with a certain amount of evidence. I've talked to two of them in the last 10 years who aren't convinced they're gone -- one is on the AOU checklist committee. Ruling anything out by "it's extinct" rather than looking at the evidence presented makes no sense to me, especially when the issue really does appear to be in doubt.

Well, the evidence in this case is overwhelming. For this species to still exist there must be a breeding population that has somehow gone undetected for all this time... in an area where there were and are lots of people looking for them and even more local people who would notice them.  So the weight of evidence, compounded by common sense, clearly points to their extinction. As noted earlier, there are many reasons why some people, including "reputable scientists," may wish they were still out there, somewhere.   

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Where is the evidence other then someone(doesn't matter to me who, rookie birder of the ABA president) thinks they saw one? Why are there zero pics? if you are going to say you saw a extinct species... you better have visual proof.  If one can not rule something out by "it is extinct"... I guess really nothing is ever extinct and I guess we really need to check all flocks of Doves for that Passenger Pigeon.

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I agree birdbrain22. There might be some room for reasonable doubt if this was some small secretive species living in some big remote wilderness where there were no people but it is not; just the opposite.

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I'm saying that you need to take a longer look at the situation -- the issue with Ivory-billed's isn't as well settled as you're claiming, as the literature actually shows. The question about "all these people" also isn't as clear-cut. The places where there are current claims (including recordings) aren't full of people, and recent papers have modeled the possibility of the species still hanging on, given the current lack of definitive evidence, and have concluded that it's still worth considering. (If you've ever looked at the numbers of people actually birding many of e-bird's "hotspots" you'd be amazed. There are places where the total number of checklists is in the single digits -- and those are designated hotspots! The number of birders out there is a bit misleading -- most of us are always going to the same few places. The logistics involved in a serious Ivory-billed search are rather daunting for most birders.)

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Another point to make, I guess -- I'm not trying to argue that Ivory-bills are still around. I honestly don't know. I'm pointing out that reflexively saying "They're extinct" rather than looking at the photos and explaining why this isn't one doesn't make any sense. For one thing, you just may be wrong, and you'll have missed out on something awesome. For another, you're not helping the person asking the question -- instead you're coming off as dismissive.

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11 minutes ago, psweet said:

as the literature actually shows.

Thanks psweet. But what literature is that? More importantly, what actual real world evidence is there? I have yet to find any or any eco-logical explanation of how the required breeding population could still be out there anywhere. Moreover, with something like this it would not just be birders who would notice them.

As to your second post, I did look at the photos posted and saw a Pileated - as expected. Since that had already been pointed out I didn't see any reason to be repetitive.

As noted earlier, there are many reasons why some people WISH they still existed but I am more interested in evidence than wishes. I wish there were still mammoths.

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22 minutes ago, psweet said:

 I'm pointing out that reflexively saying "They're extinct" rather than looking at the photos and explaining why this isn't one doesn't make any sense. 

That's not what happened here; pictures were submitted, looked at, and Ivory-Billed ruled out based on field marks. 

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Re: the 2004 alleged sighting and some reasons why some people wanted to believe it...

"A few weeks after the initial sighting, field biologists were recruited to spend five months in the Big Woods searching for something. They weren't told it was the ivory-billed woodpecker until they agreed to keep it secret.

Scott Simon heads the Arkansas branch of The Nature Conservancy, which has helped preserve the forest where the ivory-billed was sighted. The Conservancy's job was to raise the money for the search without telling prospective donors what they were giving it for unless they also agreed to keep it secret.

"And that's the amazing part about this," Simon says. "I mean, a few people provided millions of dollars in private support for this, without even confirmation of the bird. Because, you know, they so much were enamored by the story of hope."

A systematic search of the swamp began in March 2004. Some of the biologists were assigned to deploy listening devices on two dozen trees throughout the forest, which would record for weeks at a time and were then sent to Cornell for analysis.

Other searchers played the 1935 recording of the ivory-bill's call and then listened for an answer. They even put out decoys, trying to draw the bird out.

For months, searchers spent long hours in the swamp, waiting, watching and listening.

Last winter a crane was brought in to get a bird's eye view from above the treetops. Every day up to 20 people went out, spending up to 14 hours in the swamp. Since they began a year and a half ago, searchers have spent 15,000 hours looking for the bird...

...Tim Barksdale, one of the premier bird photographers in America... was hired to capture what would be the first pictures of an ivory-billed since 1935. Barksdale spent 241 days in the swamp without seeing the bird."

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/finding-the-lord-god-bird/

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How about:

Michael D. Collins, Video evidence and other information relevant to the conservation of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker (Campephilus principalis), Heliyon 3 (2017) e00230. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2017.e00230

Nice thing about this paper -- it's open-access.  A lot of these are behind paywalls. Again, is this sufficient evidence to establish the presence? No, I don't think so. But it is proof that there are still experts working on the issue, and in this case a discussion of what evidence would we need to conclude with any certainty that they're not there.

Or: SOLOW, A. R. and BEET, A. R. (2014), On Uncertain Sightings and Inference about Extinction. Conservation Biology, 28: 1119–1123. doi:10.1111/cobi.12309

which explores the question of dealing with uncertain sightings.

(I can give a personal anecdote about the difficulty in evaluating the non-existence of a bird based on a lack of sightings. At our hawkwatch, Mississippi Kite is now an annual migrant (we get 1-3 a year -- not many, but as many as we see of Swainson's Hawks. The year this trend started, I observed 8 birds to our NW, none of which bothered to move south that day, and several of which, I presume, were seen the next few days. And yet, if you look at e-bird records for the summer, the only points north of us with sightings are Janesville, WI, which is almost straight west of us, and Winnipeg, Manitoba. (A breeding record in 2014 and a few sightings in 2015, but nothing since) So despite the evidence we have of a breeding population somewhere that these birds must be coming from, there's no evidence. And Mississippi Kites like living in towns and flying out in the open -- they should be easy to see, even if their nests aren't easy to find.)

Quote

That's not what happened here; pictures were submitted, looked at, and Ivory-Billed ruled out based on field marks. 

Yes, that happened. My comments were aimed at the first reply, which had no mention of any attempt to do so, and another one that specifically stated "Don't even need to see the video".

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I think there's a scientific axiom about it being impossible to prove a negative.

Just between us, I think they're extinct.  No one is harmed by my hoping they still exist, so I see no reason to stop.  I've seen plenty of self-delusions more debilitating or dangerous than mine.

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The evidence that they don't exist is that there is no evidence of their existence.  I mean those pics in that article.... call it dismissive or whatever you want, but C'mon really?  I personally really don't care if others think Ivory-billed Woodpeckers exist, think rainbow Unicorns exist or think they saw a Yeti... believe whatever you want.

A species not being recorded in a certain area is very different than a species not being recorded anywhere for approx 70 years(based on the 1950 date). Birds are always expanding there range and the  range maps are never accurate. 

Until there is definitive visual proof that they exist... for me they are extinct, so yeah there was no need for me to see the video.

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Thanks psweet. I had already read that Collins paper, and had also read this:

"But when he wanted to go public with this conclusion, he had few takers. The journal PNAS rejected his study in 2009, citing inadequate evidence to back up his “extraordinary claims.” The skepticism comes with good reason: The Ivory-bill debate has been plagued with decades of fake photos, failed searches (see here for our in-depth feature story on the most recent one in Cuba), and quarrels among experts and scientists."

http://www.audubon.org/news/possible-ivory-billed-woodpecker-footage-breathes-life-extinction-debate

The other paper is interesting enough but neither it nor the Collins paper addresses my other fundamental question: "More importantly, what actual real world evidence is there?

To your Kite example I certainly do get your point. I have had similar experiences. For example, BW Hawks have expanded their range into this area in the 1990s - something everyone understands NOW - but when I first started seeing them there definitely were no records of them and nobody believed me, some even after I started finding them regularly - until I got photos of them. The same story with several other species which have either expanded their range or were already here but, due to a lack of birders in this area, nobody had found them (note these were not big conspicuous species). That said, I must say that the eBird record is anything but complete (or in some cases accurate) so for me it is only a preliminary source of information even though I have been a hard core eBirder since 2012 (and have put most of my older records into the system).

1 hour ago, psweet said:

How about:

Michael D. Collins, Video evidence and other information relevant to the conservation of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker (Campephilus principalis), Heliyon 3 (2017) e00230. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2017.e00230

 

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 All I said was "presumed to be extinct". 

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I’m not deciding one way or another...I hope I can go search for them one day. With that being said, science has a word for situations such as this, “Lazarus Taxon”. 

It is basically an “extinct” species that just “happens” to be located hundreds, thousands, or even “millions” (if you believe the world is “millions” of years old) of years after it went “extinct”

 

(10 “not so extinct animals)....

http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2105239_2105240_2105283,00.html

The Coelacanth is an ancient fish, and the kind of creature science refers to as a Living Fossil. It’s also an example of something called the Lazarus Taxon. This is when a plant or animal seems to have vanished from the Earth, only to turn up again alive and well.”

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Whatever your beliefs, ridicule isn’t nessecary. This thread quickly went from pointing out facts to ridicule. I don’t think that’s what Whatbird is about. If it is, by all means let me know and I’ll respond accordingly. 

 

There are plenty of extinct species that have been rediscovered. A new species of frog was recently discovered in the east, having gone unnoticed by scientists for 400 years. Far too many scientific discoveries have been ignored for decades because of people ignoring any evidence that didn’t fit their worldview. Look at the evidence, and judge the sighting on that basis. Incredible claims need credible evidence, but that’s it, they don’t deserve ridicule. 

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OK guys, this topic has really gone way off track here.  This was a simple question from a new user about what species his siting was.  Please remember that this is the Help Identify topic and I think the identity of this particular bird has been well established.  Hijacking this thread top go off on tangents arguing what is and is not extinct (not to mention arguing the definition of extinct) is no way to welcome a new user.

Let's back off a bit and not get this thread locked.

 

Thank You.

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