• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Ivory-billed Woodpecker: Debunking the Critics (1 Viewer)

Status
Not open for further replies.

fishcrow

Well-known member
Over the years, there have been many posts on birdforum about the Ivory-billed Woodpecker. Despite a lack of quality in these discussions, I have posted occasional updates about my work on this topic for any bird watchers who might be interested in this magnificent bird and its conservation. I recently posted a lecture on debunking the critics and published this article. All of my articles and lectures on the Ivory-billed Woodpecker may be accessed at my website.

As discussed in the lecture on debunking the critics, the ‘big name’ bird watchers in the U.S. have been exposed (to anyone who carefully reviews the facts) as phonies. After failing for decades to document one of the most amazing birds in the world, which was present right under their noses, none of them met the challenge of the Mt. Everest of birds after others published reports of sightings in Arkansas, Florida, and Louisiana. They simply did what birders seem to do best -- sit around and try to discredit others.

Mike Collins
Alexandria, Virginia
 

ZanderII

Well-known member
Over the years, there have been many posts on birdforum about the Ivory-billed Woodpecker. Despite a lack of quality in these discussions, I have posted occasional updates about my work on this topic for any bird watchers who might be interested in this magnificent bird and its conservation. I recently posted a lecture on debunking the critics and published this article. All of my articles and lectures on the Ivory-billed Woodpecker may be accessed at my website.

As discussed in the lecture on debunking the critics, the ‘big name’ bird watchers in the U.S. have been exposed (to anyone who carefully reviews the facts) as phonies. After failing for decades to document one of the most amazing birds in the world, which was present right under their noses, none of them met the challenge of the Mt. Everest of birds after others published reports of sightings in Arkansas, Florida, and Louisiana. They simply did what birders seem to do best -- sit around and try to discredit others.

Mike Collins
Alexandria, Virginia

Hi Mike, best way to debunk the critics would be to produce an incontestable piece of evidence. This doesn't exist because Campephilus woodpeckers are not some ninja-phantom picid and can be readily located and documented, as they were until the species went extinct in the Continental USA last century.
 

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
You do realize this is almost identical in rhetoric to what I hear from bigfoot hunter and similar fringe science believers. They don't need to discredit anything...the burden of proof is on the person claiming the continued existence of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers
 

YuShan

hikingbirdman.com
United Kingdom
For some reason the best existing footage of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers is still from the 1930's, taken with ancient camera and film. Nowadays you should even be able to get recognisable pictures with a smartphone if the bird still existed.
 

cheshirebirder

Well-known member
For some reason the best existing footage of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers is still from the 1930's, taken with ancient camera and film. Nowadays you should even be able to get recognisable pictures with a smartphone if the bird still existed.

Mike , can you explain why you were unable to obtain any reasonable footage from your sightings ?
 

Lerxst

Well-known member
You'd think that with so many "sightings" of a bird apt to appear "right under the noses" of birders that someone would have captured some credible evidence by now. Think of how celebrated the individual would be that publishes clear photographic, audio, or video evidence that this bird still exists.

The "critics" are doing exactly what they should be doing. And 99.99% of us critics would *love* to be proven wrong. Seriously. Who doesn't want to find out that this extraordinary species still exists?

Until you come forward with evidence, you should not throw shade at the people that are acting as a firewall protecting science from pseudoscience and wishful thinking.
 

opisska

Jan Ebr
Czech Republic
Surely, this is pretty interesting. The linked article has been published in a scientific journal - one that gets the occasional flak for "a little too much leeway" given to the authors and a retracted article here and there, but still satisfying at least the basics of peer review, so this is not just someone talking out of their foot. However the confrontational tone of this post isn't exactly setting the best atmosphere for discussion - if he communicates this way habitually, then it's not a big wonder if people don't take him seriously and make bigfoot-related remarks.
 

jurek

Well-known member
Fishcrow presented evidence of his observations for everybody to examine. One can say 'On these images I don't see Ivory-billed Woodpecker'. Like I do not.

To his fairness, it is comparing to the bigfoot or a priori saying that IBW is extinct which are non-scientific arguments. Which contribute to the low opinion about science and scientists in the part of American society.
 

YuShan

hikingbirdman.com
United Kingdom
I agree that references to bigfoot/ yetis are a bit misplaced because with Ivory-billed Woodpecker we at least know for a fact that it DID exist in the past.

However, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and I haven't seen even a vaguely recognisable picture.
 

rosbifs

Well-known tool
France
We had an awesome post whose posts ran into the thousands - still didn't have a jot of irrefutable evidence pointing to the bird though!

Would love it to turn up but then I like to see a Great Auk too.

Good luck with continued efforts but seriously come to us with a body....
 

lewis20126

Well-known member
Hi Mike, best way to debunk the critics would be to produce an incontestable piece of evidence. This doesn't exist because Campephilus woodpeckers are not some ninja-phantom picid and can be readily located and documented, as they were until the species went extinct in the Continental USA last century.

I think your tag line is never more appropriate than this - albeit that was clearly not the original intention! Although that said, belief, in the absence of evidence, is seemingly central to this unique case.

cheers, alan
 

Lerxst

Well-known member
These discussions remind me of how much I miss Carl Sagan. He was a driving force behind the SETI project and thought it very important that we we look for clues for intelligent life beyond our planet - and he estimated the odds of it being out there to be good odds. But he'd find himself perpetually having to debunk positive claims of ET visits - even though such events would have pleased him greatly had they been true - he had to debunk them because they always had simpler explanations and lacked the requisite evidence.

The more you want something to be true, the more you owe it to yourself and others to be demanding of the evidence. We need to be aware of our biases....
 

Alan henry

Well-known member
Over the years, there have been many posts on birdforum about the Ivory-billed Woodpecker. Despite a lack of quality in these discussions, I have posted occasional updates about my work on this topic for any bird watchers who might be interested in this magnificent bird and its conservation. I recently posted a lecture on debunking the critics and published this article. All of my articles and lectures on the Ivory-billed Woodpecker may be accessed at my website.

As discussed in the lecture on debunking the critics, the ‘big name’ bird watchers in the U.S. have been exposed (to anyone who carefully reviews the facts) as phonies. After failing for decades to document one of the most amazing birds in the world, which was present right under their noses, none of them met the challenge of the Mt. Everest of birds after others published reports of sightings in Arkansas, Florida, and Louisiana. They simply did what birders seem to do best -- sit around and try to discredit others.

Mike Collins
Alexandria, Virginia

Produce an image or your just another........???
 

1TruthSeeker

Well-known member
Ibwo

I know Collin's evidence contemporaneously as it was gathered. Also friend knows him well. He has made mistakes and continues to on various levels but probably not on his final conclusions of recent presence/absence of IB.

He did amass evidence of one and two IBWOs on a few separate occasions. You need to look at this work carefully for many, many hours; and understand the IB's literature, community structure, ecology, physiology, stochastic events, rapid selection pressure, wariness, likely 21st cent. behavior, bottlenecks, calls, knocks, flight mechanics, video artifacts, his videos frame by frame, etc. RBCs rules for first state records, for example, is not science. You need to know all your birds; by know I mean all sounds and ecology down to preferred food items of all Picidae (just as one granular example that will help you in a fair assessment of presence/absence of the IB pre 2015).

Collins himself has always been and likely will remain weak in some of these exact areas. Regardless he did discover some new things about the IB.

Because of his weaknesses his presentations may not have many data sets and he must live and struggle (as we are forced to) with his main data set (poorly resolved, but suggestive videos that get better as each individual learns more).

With his best "sightings" he would likely prove in a long, US Civil case that he saw one, two, more? IBs.

He would not use his cute little drawings that a paid painter did; these depict multiple field marks he did not see; they are misleading. I have no sane explanation why he did this and paying for it all is bizarre but enlightening.

He would need to have a successful jury selection process seating people with a science background. His team would then present many mov., jpgs, drawings, jpg enlargements, diagrams, papers, etc. The Rhein Imperial Woodpecker film would be pivotal along with CU, AU and Collin's ACCEPTED PUBLISHED papers and supporting material/videos. They would have all possible competing species presented and eliminated as needed.

No matter what Collins would not act pro se in the trial, that did not go well for T. Bundy as far as extinction. Mike would be limited to passing notes to his team of Esqs. His ass might not kiss the stand unless forced by others. If he gets up there it might or might not go well but should be survivable even though his lack of strategic control and personality traits would make it cable-TV worthy.

Expert witnesses would easily add some scientific consensus, and elucidation, although it could be countered, but poorly by skeptics. I say poorly because all you need to do is look upthread here and in many websites, papers, posts, etc. and you will see the poor work their "experts" and other mortals have been able to do. Their one or two liners will not sway a jury. Sibley Note, Collinson's paper, Jackson's odd tantrums, Prum's ping ponging, bizarre statistical papers, etc. were bullocks.

Skeptics may not be prepared since they have always had an obtuse attitude that the null hypothesis is extinction; it is not. This has made them exceedingly careless, condescending, lazy, entrenched, conflicted, etc. Many formal entities have recently said, the IB is not extinct or certainly extinct (see USFWS, AR RBC, IUCN, LA RBC, etc).

Also some on a jury can be swayed by the moral opinion accepted by many we have hypothetically chosen for the jury (lol). You err on the side of conservation of a critically endangered animal and extremely valuable natural resource that might very well be alive.

Many will rationalize and say it is "someone else's job". It is not simply as the above person sophomorically asserts "that the burden of proof is on Collins". This person evidently hasn't heard of a conservation ethic. With that attitude a Civil jury may teach this poster that concern for animals is something more than keeping an often, useless life list.

However in a Criminal case Collins may get a hung jury on his LA and Fl evidence. Beyond a reasonable doubt that he did see or did not see an IB would likely each get some votes. He might get a plurality of votes.

However on a larger, extinction stage, with the question being was there any IBs in the S US post 2000, the IB would again win, this time even more easily, in a Civil case. A Criminal case could likely be won especially when we add to the evidence lie detectors test passed by many great field birders, Ornithologists, kayakers, turkey hunters, good people, etc.

Lie detectors results could be presented of skeptics answering "have you ever seen and IB?" Answer--- NO then "Where did you look and what were your methods?" " humma humma humma"

I doubt if these trials would ever happen even in an arbitration situation if the looser had to pay for ALL winners costs. Collins would likely agree but then it would be as hard to find an IB as it is to find a skeptic with a suit, tie and $50,000 in escrow with the clerks.

good night

ps do not assume a response to any silliness or lazy posts, they may just be left as evidence of the above
 

Hauksen

Forum member
Hi,

He did amass evidence of one and two IBWOs on a few separate occasions. You need to look at this work carefully for many, many hours; and understand the IB's literature, community structure, ecology, physiology, stochastic events, rapid selection pressure, wariness, likely 21st cent. behavior, bottlenecks, calls, knocks, flight mechanics, video artifacts, his videos frame by frame, etc.

Does Mike's article actually address the topic of video artifacts? I pointed out this problem to him in a past discussion, but can't seem to find it in the recent article.

I was actually concerned about the in-camera image enhancement producing false edges of contrast, which would require a thorough look as we're dealing with "least-resolution" images here.

Regards,

Henning
 

1TruthSeeker

Well-known member
video artifacts

In the two LA videos, on different days, artifacts may influence key, some or most frames. The FL quality is so bad that you are more or less going by flight pattern (how it is unusual and does match literature) and the double knock heard in the earlier video from kayak. Also Collins "testimony" on the day.

I believe he has mentioned in some form, and you can see it yourself if you did the work, (you may have not ) that in various lighting conditions and gradually deepening and then shallowing angles (flyunder) the white stays only where it should be which eliminates artifacts being a game killer. Admittingly some of the harder to see/smaller plumage areas where there should be white it is not always seen (neck, head). This is expected due to the poor resolution. An advanced algo might be able to get more confirmatory (or not) data from the original.

The in the tree kayak, an algo might also help.

Both these videos depend much more on wing beat HZ (which is right on for IB not PIWO), wing and body shape (right on), neck and crown (right on in tree video) wing span (right on for both species but not AMKI or WODU), flight speed and more. Sounds attributed to IBs can also be heard in one or more of these video.

However you look/listen at/to these videos (LA not FL) I find nothing that rules out IBWO and rules in any other species, and I have gone down the check list multiple times. Always more work to do though on extralimitals. lol and double check ducks.

The pertinent branches and scenes in these videos where carefully measured by Collins with at least two independent field assistants for the flyunder, which is good protocol. Many field hours were spent post sighting confirming physical characters of the birds videoed.

There are many tangential stories on these videos that Collins has not publicly mentioned for various reasons. I see no reason to do that here unless some skeptics do some work and "follow the money".

The great majority of skeptics think that dismissing data in minutes because of the poor resolution is enough or is good science. They know very little about what the various possible species should "look like" in these "conditions" and turn that into some conclusion based based on knowledge or fact, which it obviously is not.

It's work to be a believable skeptic just as it's work to get even a blurry video of this species. Its good to be skeptical of self-proclaimed skeptics, and wannabe scientists. Amazing how some think skepticism is healthy (true) for everyone but their own opinions asserted as obvious facts.

thanks
 

Larry Sweetland

Formerly 'Larry Wheatland'
Nice to see an IBWO thread appearing again. I was beginning to think that threads on the subject were extinct. Looking forward to the pics (should be easy enough to get one) and site gen :t:
 

1TruthSeeker

Well-known member
We now return to the lives of the privledged and underread

>>>(should be easy enough to get one) piciture<<< .

A.T. Wayne noticed a substantial increase in flush distance after just one season of intense shooting around California Swamp. Take of birds dropped substantially even though they were seen/heard from many yards away. Birds were there but much harder to shoot with guns let alone non-existent cameras.

At Singer JJ Kuhn sometimes would take days to locate the birds event though he know their general roosting and nesting areas.

The only place a picture was possible is at a nest, don't worry though many conflate nest fidelity with tameness.

Get back to us after studying the non-stochastic effects of intense and increasing lethal take on many populations of animals. Pretty basic actually.

And who exempted you from getting in the field for this easy picture?

Masks are passed out on the plane o:D, bins can be borrowed along with a beginners Field Guide to S US Birds...and bring your smart phone. We are waiting!!! .:t:
 

Larry Sweetland

Formerly 'Larry Wheatland'
And who exempted you from getting in the field for this easy picture?

Masks are passed out on the plane o:D, bins can be borrowed along with a beginners Field Guide to S US Birds...and bring your smart phone. We are waiting!!! .:t:

I'm sure there would be hundreds of birders in the USA that would be doing exactly that, and would be continuing to look for it if they thought there was any chance at all of it still existing. I'll leave it to them thanks :t:
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Users who are viewing this thread

Top