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Re: ] Ivory-billed Woodpecker search (long)



Dear Woodpecker dreamers,

I'll believe it when I see it.

And I hope I do (a good picture, at least).

Steve Compton
Summerville,SC
mailto:scompton@sc.rr.com
----- Original Message -----
From: "Kate Finlayson" <katefin@yahoo.com>
To: <carolinabirds@duke.edu>
Sent: Friday, February 22, 2002 2:26 PM
Subject: ] Ivory-billed Woodpecker search (long)


> I just listened to the recording of the tapping the
> researchers got in Louisiana. It gave me chillbumps.
> For those of you who have not heard, check it out!
> -Kate
> > Biologists Find Tantalizing Hints of Lost Woodpecker
> >
> >
> >  SLIDELL, Louisiana, February 20, 2002 (ENS) - After
> > an intensive 30 day
> >
> > search of Louisiana wildlands, biologists appear to
> > be no closer to
> >
> > determining whether the ivory billed woodpecker is
> > extinct in the United
> >
> > States. But the searchers found several clues,
> > ranging from stripped bark
> >
> > to tantalizing tapping, suggesting the nation's
> > largest woodpecker may not
> >
> > be entirely gone.
> >
> >
> >
> > The ivory billed woodpecker averages 20 inches tall,
> > with a wingspan of 31
> >
> > to 33 inches. (Image courtesy Haley & Steel)
> >
> >  There have been no confirmed sightings of the ivory
> > billed woodpecker
> >
> > since the 1950s, but bird lovers remain hopeful that
> > the bird survives -
> >
> > somewhere.
> >
> >
> >  The ivorybill was never believed to be a very
> > common bird. By the early
> >
> > 1900s it was one of the rarest in the United States.
> >
> >
> >  But the massive old growth trees required by the
> > ivorybill were highly
> >
> > valued by the timber industry, and it is believed
> > that logging led to the
> >
> > extinction, or near extinction, of the bird.
> >
> >
> >  In April 1999, a hunter, David Kulivan reporting
> > watching a pair of
> >
> > ivorybills at close range for several minutes while
> > turkey hunting in the
> >
> > Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Pearl
> > River Wildlife
> >
> > Management Area in southeastern Louisiana.
> >
> >
> >  Upon reading a newspaper account of the Kulivan
> > sighting, Anthony Cataldo
> >
> > of Carl Zeiss Sports Optics contacted Dr. Van
> > Remsen, an ornithologist at
> >
> > Louisiana State University, offering corporate
> > sponsorship for a search.
> >
> > The search sponsored by Zeiss, a leading
> > manufacturer of high quality
> >
> > sports optics, ended on February 18 without a
> > sighting of an ivory billed
> >
> > woodpecker.
> >
> >
> >  On January 27, four of the six members of this
> > international search team
> >
> > did hear a series of loud signal taps suggestive of
> > the elusive woodpecker.
> >
> > A recording of the types can be heard on the Zeiss
> > web site at:
> >
> > http://www.zeiss.com
> >
> >
> >
> > Ivory billed woodpeckers search for their insect
> > prey by stripping large
> >
> > sections of tree bark. The Zeiss team found
> > concentrations of extensive
> >
> > bark scaling. (Photo  David Luneau. Three photos
> > courtesy Carl Zeiss
> >
> > Sports Optics)
> >
> >  The searchers marked their location with global
> > positioning system units
> >
> > (GPS units) when they heard the sound but were
> > unable to move closer
> >
> > because of high water in the area. They chose not to
> > share news of this
> >
> > recording at the time, convinced that they could
> > find the bird making these
> >
> > sounds.
> >
> >
> >  But after days of scouring this area, they were
> > never able to locate the
> >
> > source of the sound.
> >
> >
> >  "The goal of this search was to find the ivory
> > billed woodpecker and
> >
> > photograph it. We did not see an ivory billed
> > woodpecker, but we found
> >
> > potential evidence of its presence in the Louisiana
> > Department of Wildlife
> >
> > and Fisheries Pearl River Wildlife Management Area,"
> > said the Zeiss Search
> >
> > Team in a joint statement.
> >
> >
> >  The search team later learned that on the same
> > morning that they obtained
> >
> > their recording, a team from Cornell University also
> > heard one double rap
> >
> > about 1.3 kilometers (0.8 miles) from the recording
> > site. While searching
> >
> > for the source of the sound, the Cornell team saw
> > one pileated woodpecker
> >
> > and one unidentified large woodpecker involved in a
> > chase high in the
> >
> > trees, then flying off.
> >
> >
> >  "Having heard one clear example of this unusual
> > double rap ourselves,
> >
> > earlier that same day and in an area not too distant
> > from where the Zeiss
> >
> > team was searching, we remain quite intrigued to
> > discover its source," said
> >
> > Dr. John Fitzpatrick, director of the Cornell Lab of
> > Ornithology. "Neither
> >
> > we nor the Zeiss team ever heard pileated
> > woodpeckers giving this display
> >
> > during many days in the field, yet pileateds were
> > the only large
> >
> > woodpeckers we could locate near where we'd heard
> > these double raps."
> >
> >
> >
> > Two large, fresh cavity starts on a living cypress
> > tree could be the work
> >
> > of ivory billed woodpeckers (Photo  David Luneau)
> >
> >  "We cannot rule out that these could have been
> > displays by pileateds,"
> >
> > Fitzpatrick added, "but if they were, it would be
> > strange that we heard the
> >
> > sounds only on that particular day, in that
> > particular place."
> >
> >
> >  After hearing the search team's recording, Dr. Van
> > Remsen, an
> >
> > ornithologist at Louisiana State University and
> > curator of ornithology at
> >
> > its Museum of Natural Science, said, "Having
> > listened to pileated drumming
> >
> > many times, Martjan's recording sent a chill down my
> > spine, literally."
> >
> >
> >  "For the last 12 years, I have been around pileated
> > woodpeckers nearly
> >
> > daily where I live, but I have never heard them make
> > a sound that came
> >
> > close to this in terms of both power and rhythm,"
> > Remsen said. "I would
> >
> > have given almost anything to have seen what was
> > making that sound. I agree
> >
> > with the search team, however, in regarding it as
> > insufficient proof of the
> >
> > bird's existence."
> >
> >
> >  Throughout the search, the Zeiss team discovered
> > concentrations of tree
> >
> > bark scaling, the primary method used by ivory
> > billed woodpeckers in
> >
> > foraging for food - but also used to a lesser extent
> > by pileateds. On
> >
> > January 29, two days after the team made the
> > recording, one team member
> >
> > heard a double rap, and then two team members heard
> > several loud raps,
> >
> > similar to the sounds previously recorded.
> >
> >
> >  Team members found extensive bark scaling, plus
> > several large, fresh
> >
> > cavity starts and large, older cavities in the area
> > where the sounds were
> >
> > recorded.
> >
> >
> >
> > Alison Styring, a Ph.D. student at Louisiana State
> > University Department of
> >
> > Biological Sciences and Museum of Natural Science,
> > photographing bark
> >
> > scaling. The lower, narrow scaling was done by
> > Martjan Lammertink with a
> >
> > machete for comparison. (Photo  David Luneau)
> >
> >  The search team covered thousands of acres in both
> > the Pearl River
> >
> > Wildlife Management Area and the adjacent Bogue
> > Chitto National Wildlife
> >
> > Refuge to the north. They covered the territory on
> > foot and by boat,
> >
> > equipped with Zeiss binoculars, digital video
> > cameras, GPS units and
> >
> > waterproof field books to record bird and habitat
> > data for the Louisiana
> >
> > Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
> >
> >
> >  David Luneau, an associate professor of engineering
> > technology at the
> >
> > University of Arkansas at Little Rock, was one of
> > the Zeiss team members.
> >
> > Before the Zeiss search, he had been to Louisiana
> > three times to search for
> >
> > the bird.
> >
> >
> >  "I believe that the ivory billed woodpecker is not
> > extinct," Luneau said.
> >
> > "I am more convinced now than ever before that the
> > woodpecker has survived
> >
> > for 50 years under the radar screen of the world of
> > birding and
> >
> > ornithology."
> >
> >
> >  Although the six Zeiss searchers have ended their
> > expedition, the Cornell
> >
> > Lab of Ornithology's Acoustic Recording Units (ARUs)
> > will remain in the
> >
> > field until mid-March when Dr. John Fitzpatrick and
> > his team take them back
> >
> > to Cornell for analysis. Dr. Fitzpatrick anticipates
> > releasing Cornell's
> >
> > findings sometime in April.
> >
> >
> >  "We are most appreciative of the searchers'
> > dedication to this project.
> >
> > They have done a great job covering what turned out
> > to be very challenging
> >
> > terrain," said Anthony Cataldo, vice president and
> > general manager of Zeiss
> >
> > Sports Optics North America. "We now look forward to
> > hearing of Cornell's
> >
> > findings once Dr. Fitzpatrick and his team listen to
> > their recordings, and
> >
> > we will determine what our next steps are at that
> > time."
> >
> > For answers to questions about this listserve, as
> > well as current Texas
> > Birding Links, visit the Texbirds Reference Page at
> > http://www.moonmountaingroup.com/texbirds.
>
>
> =====
> Kate Finlayson
> N. Chatham Co.,N.C.
> katefin@yahoo.com
>
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