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

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Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
Two rather sad things come to mind:

a/ The last sighting of IBWO was more recent than evidence suggests but in which case (as evidenced by the lack of sightings since and the amount of fruitless searching) were likely already past the point of no return for survival of the species anyway and it is now gone
b/ The Last certain sightings of IBWO were decades ago, but the lack of sightings since, again suggests populations were already so low as to be past the point of no return already by then and it is long gone.

This thread just plays on the emotions of those saddened by yet another (avoidable) extinction in modern times who, despite all evidence to the contrary, are being told by the proselytizing few, to have hope regardless.

That’s not science, it’s religion....
 

Diane D

Well-known member
United States
My
I posed the question in post 164 as to what the criteria are. I haven't seen any suggested either prior to my post or since so where are the inconsitencies you speak of?
AA asked what are the inconsistencies up thread that show a double standard on extinction proclamations. One was explicitly mentioned and is
well known in Ivory-billed circles as it involves a prominent skeptic.
The other involves the Kinglet C. but you need to have noticed a pertinent author
on the thread and made the connection.

1a) Jackson was not a skeptic of the '86 and '87 Cuban Ivory-billed "rediscovery" sightings when others (L. Short, et al.) claimed to have seen 6 or more birds ('87) and he himself claimed a very brief sighting in '88. There had been a 40 year gap in accepted sightings. The birds were in rather open forest habitat with hills, not the more mature forest with difficult swamp as in US. There are no pictures, bad pictures, film, recordings, nothing from any of the sighters ------
there is no evidence other than field notes; some or all of these
sightings were very brief. 40 years prior Dennis/Crompton had gotten multiple
pictures.

Surveys in following years could find no birds and there are no sightings known since '88.

1b) Then in the US over the last 21 years alone there are perhaps 150
sightings (likely of ~ 18 different birds), a very few lasting minutes,
few more for ~ 30 seconds, a few of a pair, many brief to very brief (but
some very close), many in flight (some close), several sightings by
multiple people, scores of sightings/notes included kents and Camp-like knocks tempo-spatially associated with sightings in the same hour or two. Many sighting were spatially clumped; there was a pattern of repeated sightings in same area/range. Many sightings were in areas that had some affinity to where Tanner said they were in his work in the '30s. Sightings have been occurring almost every year since 1999.

From 1945 to 1999 there were many reported sightings and many kept
quiet (see John Terres). Physical evidence includes a long tape of vocalizations by Dennis (see/hear Mc. Lab Cornell) and a feather from FL (see Pranty, former ABA president favorable comments on entire event and see Agey publication circa 1966).

Over the last 21 years ~ 9 videos were taken all at the places where the
sightings were made. The videos are of poor quality but most show one
or more features consistent with IB. The AR, Luneau and 2 Collin's LA
videos are heavily analyzed and appear to be IBs or probable IBs. One
or more videos includes audio of a putative IB. All the videos were
taken in areas that had multiple sightings over a few or more years.

Seven or more videos are supporting material in peer-reviewed articles.

Audio from 3 separate areas includes ~ 150 Camp-like kents and double
knocks. Some audio indicated 2 birds were present and possibly interacting.

One site had elegant data on bark scaling indicating IBs may be present.

Habitat-there are millions of acres of potential habitat in the United States which is much greater than Cuba. Over the last 20 years more absolute acres have been surveyed in the US then Cuba but it is a minor percentage of the possible acres IBs might occupy. Some claim that many of the acres surveyed in the US were incorrectly surveyed. The same may hold for Cuba.

Conclusion by most of the public at the time --Cuban IB lives 88. US IB lives at the time 2005 but as more good data came in it grew to not sure.

Is this consistent treatment between 1a and 1b?

Copyright

get to the Kinglet another time
 
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ZanderII

Well-known member
1a) Jackson was not a skeptic of the '86 and '87 Cuban Ivory-billed "rediscovery" sightings when others (L. Short, et al.) claimed to have seen 6 or more birds ('87) and he himself claimed a very brief sighting in '88. There had been a 40 year gap in accepted sightings. The birds were in rather open forest habitat with hills, not the more mature forest with difficult swamp as in US. There are no pictures, bad pictures, film, recordings, nothing from any of the sighters ------
there is no evidence other than field notes; some or all of these
sightings were very brief. 40 years prior Dennis/Crompton had gotten multiple
pictures.
The lack of documentation is a bit worrying but remember this is Cuba in the 1980s and not the USA in the 20th century. State of the art technology was not available.

1) There are no Pileated Woodpeckers on Cuba and hence no confusion species

2) The extinction trajectory makes sense in terms of forest loss, the species was reported throughout the period and the last sightings in the 80s tie in with the loss of habitat.

3) There have been no subsequent sightings
 

ZanderII

Well-known member
Seven or more videos are supporting material in peer-reviewed articles.

Audio from 3 separate areas includes ~ 150 Camp-like kents and double

knocks. Some audio indicated 2 birds were present and possibly interacting.

This seems like a good time to drum home the comparison between the extinction of the Thylacine and the extinction of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker.

1) Both species were last documented at around the same time -1936 for the Thylacine and 1939 (last accepted IBWO sighting in 1944). Thylacines formerly occurred on the Australian mainland but there there is no proof they survived more recently than 3000 years ago.

2) Reports of both species have continued to the present day, for example the Department of Conservation and Land Management recorded 203 reports of sightings of the Thylacine in Western (mainland) Australia from 1936 to 1998.

3) Both species have had expensive official searches conducted and support from government, the Thylacine searches in Tasmania were conducted In 1982 following a sighting by a researcher with the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service. Those for IBWO because of sightings by birders, some experienced.

4) Official searches for both species failed to yield confirmatory evidence despite huge efforts and were eventually disbanded.

5) Both species have a huge scientific literature surrounding their extinction trajectory on account of their well-described declines to extinction and abundance of possible records.

6) 'Amateur' searchers are obsessed with both species and maintain that the Thylacine is widespread on both Tasmania and in mainland Australia and that the IBWO is distributed across multiple US states. Their blogs constantly report sightings with low quality evidence.

7) The searchers are reliant on brief sightings, poor quality images, tracks and signs, and ambiguous audio recordings. These are regularly presented as proof that both species are still extant, some examples in newspaper reporting:

8) There is no vouchered audio recording of the Thylacine so we have no way of knowing if the claimed recordings are of that species. Similar problems surround IBWO recordings - e.g. drums.

9) There are huge unclaimed bounties (over AU$ 1.75M for the Thylacine) for documentation proving either species exists.

10) Dedicated searchers are employing technology like drones and autonomous recording units to look for both species e.g. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-09...tigers-with-science-and-stealth/11388354?nw=0 again without success.

11) The searchers in both camps complain that the authorities don't take their claims seriously and deride experts, both sometimes publish their findings in scientific journals. Their blogs are incredibly similar in the language they use and their cultural identity as self-styled hard men who venture into remote areas into which others won't go and hence lack of success. This narrative creeps into scientific publications, this from Collins 2017:

"The interior of a swamp forest’s low species diversity does not attract bird watchers [12], and numerous deterrents may keep them away. It is physically demanding to penetrate deeply into such habitats; alligators, wild boars, and venomous snakes are abundant; and there is the possibility of heat stroke during the hot and humid summers and hypothermia during the cold and damp winters. Strong currents, rapidly rising water, and heavy hunting activity make swamp forests dangerous."

12) There have been many TV programmes covering the searchers from the perspective of these dedicated amateurs. In all of them the searchers maintain the species are extant, that they regularly see them and that proof is around the corner. Sometimes they claim they have it - like here but it always comes of nothing.

13) In both cases one could say that there is an overwhelming body of evidence that they are extant, hundreds of sightings, many by authoritative figures.

14) In both cases the absence of proof - photos, video, DNA, specimens - is indicative that the 'an overwhelming body of evidence' is nonsense - if the species are widespread the proof would be easy to find. As such it is reasonable to conclude that both are extinct and that belief in them has become quasi-religious and detached from objective scientific reality.
 
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Brian J Small

Well-known member
There have been several possibles and indeed a widely believed rediscovery by some very competent ornithologists but again no proof and no reason to believe that the species is somehow difficult to find. The species was easily collected in the 1800s; there are boxes full of them in museums.
Re KC, not sure this is true, many specimens are lost?

See Guy Kirwan's 2010 Neotropical Birding article for details - https://www.researchgate.net/public..._for_the_Kinglet_Calyptura_Calyptura_cristata

Brian S
 

cheshirebirder

Well-known member
This seems like a good time to drum home the comparison between the extinction of the Thylacine and the extinction of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker.

1) Both species were last documented at around the same time -1936 for the Thylacine and 1939 (last accepted IBWO sighting in 1944). Thylacines formerly occurred on the Australian mainland but there there is no proof they survived more recently than 3000 years ago.

2) Reports of both species have continued to the present day, for example the Department of Conservation and Land Management recorded 203 reports of sightings of the Thylacine in Western (mainland) Australia from 1936 to 1998.

3) Both species have had expensive official searches conducted and support from government, the Thylacine searches in Tasmania were conducted In 1982 following a sighting by a researcher with the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service. Those for IBWO because of sightings by birders, some experienced.

4) Official searches for both species failed to yield confirmatory evidence despite huge efforts and were eventually disbanded.

5) Both species have a huge scientific literature surrounding their extinction trajectory on account of their well-described declines to extinction and abundance of possible records.

6) 'Amateur' searchers are obsessed with both species and maintain that the Thylacine is widespread on both Tasmania and in mainland Australia and that the IBWO is distributed across multiple US states. Their blogs constantly report sightings with low quality evidence.

7) The searchers are reliant on brief sightings, poor quality images, tracks and signs, and ambiguous audio recordings. These are regularly presented as proof that both species are still extant, some examples in newspaper reporting:

8) There is no vouchered audio recording of the Thylacine so we have no way of knowing if the claimed recordings are of that species. Similar problems surround IBWO recordings - e.g. drums.

9) There are huge unclaimed bounties (over AU$ 1.75M for the Thylacine) for documentation proving either species exists.

10) Dedicated searchers are employing technology like drones and autonomous recording units to look for both species e.g. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-09...tigers-with-science-and-stealth/11388354?nw=0 again without success.

11) The searchers in both camps complain that the authorities don't take their claims seriously and deride experts, both sometimes publish their findings in scientific journals. Their blogs are incredibly similar in the language they use and their cultural identity as self-styled hard men who venture into remote areas into which others won't go and hence lack of success. This narrative creeps into scientific publications, this from Collins 2017:

"The interior of a swamp forest’s low species diversity does not attract bird watchers [12], and numerous deterrents may keep them away. It is physically demanding to penetrate deeply into such habitats; alligators, wild boars, and venomous snakes are abundant; and there is the possibility of heat stroke during the hot and humid summers and hypothermia during the cold and damp winters. Strong currents, rapidly rising water, and heavy hunting activity make swamp forests dangerous."

12) There have been many TV programmes covering the searchers from the perspective of these dedicated amateurs. In all of them the searchers maintain the species are extant, that they regularly see them and that proof is around the corner. Sometimes they claim they have it - like here but it always comes of nothing.

13) In both cases one could say that there is an overwhelming body of evidence that they are extant, hundreds of sightings, many by authoritative figures.

14) In both cases the absence of proof - photos, video, DNA, specimens - is indicative that the 'an overwhelming body of evidence' is nonsense - if the species are widespread the proof would be easy to find. As such it is reasonable to conclude that both are extinct and that belief in them has become quasi-religious and detached from objective scientific reality.
Point 14 sums it up for me and, I suspect, most birders.
 

ZanderII

Well-known member

Sangahyando

Well-known member
[...]
11) The searchers in both camps complain that the authorities don't take their claims seriously and deride experts, both sometimes publish their findings in scientific journals. Their blogs are incredibly similar in the language they use and their cultural identity as self-styled hard men who venture into remote areas into which others won't go and hence lack of success. This narrative creeps into scientific publications, this from Collins 2017:

"The interior of a swamp forest’s low species diversity does not attract bird watchers [12], and numerous deterrents may keep them away. It is physically demanding to penetrate deeply into such habitats; alligators, wild boars, and venomous snakes are abundant; and there is the possibility of heat stroke during the hot and humid summers and hypothermia during the cold and damp winters. Strong currents, rapidly rising water, and heavy hunting activity make swamp forests dangerous."
The person who wrote the passage you quoted is either being dishonest or doesn't know birders very well. In my experience, there is no shortage of crazy people who endure all kinds of hardship in order to watch rare birds. But only a few of them will claim to have seen birds that weren't there...
 

ZanderII

Well-known member
The person who wrote the passage you quoted is either being dishonest or doesn't know birders very well. In my experience, there is no shortage of crazy people who endure all kinds of hardship in order to watch rare birds. But only a few of them will claim to have seen birds that weren't there...
Indeed, and moreover it isn't even true, the searchers (and initially the scientists) seemed to cultivate the idea that the locations where the birds were found were impossibly remote, this from Jackson 2010.

In Ghost Bird, aerial photographs clearly show the busy traffic along Arkansas Highway 17 and along Interstate 40 at the north and south ends of the approximately 3-mile stretch of the Cache River, buffered by an approximately one-mile–wide patch of forest, where the observations were made. As the news of the potential rediscovery of the Ivory-bill unfolded, an aerial photo of the area where the sightings occurred appeared on the Internet. It had been taken from an altitude such that the edges of the forest were clearly visible, showing that the forest was a ribbon of habitat bounded by cleared agricultural land. Within days, that photo was changed to one taken from a lower altitude, showing the big trees and no limits to the forest. This limitless forest impression was also conferred by a special CBS 60 Minutes report that referred to the area as the “Amazon of North America.”

Have a look at the site of the rediscovery which is a highly fragmented landscape and gets 120K visitors annually!
 

Diane D

Well-known member
United States
The lack of documentation is a bit worrying but remember this is Cuba in the 1980s and not the USA in the 20th century. State of the art technology was not available.

1) There are no Pileated Woodpeckers on Cuba and hence no confusion species

2) The extinction trajectory makes sense in terms of forest loss, the species was reported throughout the period and the last sightings in the 80s tie in with the loss of habitat.

3) There have been no subsequent sightings
The question was whether there were inconsistencies in Jackson's and the entire communities treatment to this day of the Cuban Ivory-billed vs ivory bill USA.

You have again portrayed that softness, kindness and latitude given to the Cuban late 80s events. There is no such latitude given to the USA Ivory-billed woodpecker by you even though the sightings physical evidence videos and recordings dwarfs what the Cuban ivory build has.

This all despite Crompton and Dennis getting multiple pictures of the Cuban bird 40 years before Jackson arrives.

Jackson himself has told others that in certain light Cuban Crow can be a confusing species. Remember many ot all of the Cuban sightings were brief and distant.

The bias is rampant. This all despite the habitat in the United States being massive and much more difficult comparatively. This despite A. T. Wayne the father of South Carolina birding and one of the greatest hunters of ivory builds specifically stating that flush distances of ivory bills increased quickly after just one year of hunting pressure, see Tanner and Wayne archived notes.

In your defense you do start out strong with "lack of evidence is a bit worrying" pertaining to the Cuba events.

To summarize your answer to the inconsistencies I believe you have inferred that both bodies of evidence do not constitute proof at the time of the claimed sightings.
 
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ZanderII

Well-known member
The question was whether there were inconsistencies in Jackson'd and the entire communities treatment to this day of the Cuban Ivory-billed vs ivory bill USA.

You have again portrayed that softness, kindness and latitude given to the Cuban late 80s events. There is no such latitude given to the USA Ivory-billed woodpecker by you even though the sightings physical evidence videos and recordings dwarfs what the Cuban ivory build has.

This all despite Crompton and Dennis getting multiple pictures of the Cuban bird 40 years before Jackson arrives

The bias is rampant. This all despite the habitat in the United States being massive and much more difficult comparatively. This despite A. T. Wayne the father of South Carolina birding and one of the greatest hunters of ivory builds specifically stating that flush distances of ivory bills increased quickly after just one year of hunting pressure, see Tanner and Wayne archived notes.

In your defense you do start out strong with "lack of evidence is a bit worrying" pertaining to the Cuba events.

To summarize your answer to the inconsistencies I believe you have inferred that both bodies of evidence do not constitute proof at the time of the claimed sightings.

Read the post again Diane. I'm happy to be convinced that the Cuban sightings were mistaken, hence that caveat, but I have listed 3 strong reasons why that may not be the case. The question to ask is: did Giraldo Alayón, Aimé Pasada, Lester L. Short, Jennifer F. M. Horne and any others involved have cameras in those early expeditions? Digital cameras didn't exist then obviously. If they didn't, then lack of documentation is less surprising. If they did then we keep asking questions. Also bear in mind as other posters have pointed out that these last Cuban forests were not subject to intensive fieldwork unlike the areas in the US as had been pointed out already. It is a chalk and cheese comparison.

Any plans for a trip to Tasmania?
 

Diane D

Well-known member
United States
Indeed, and moreover it isn't even true, the searchers (and initially the scientists) seemed to cultivate the idea that the locations where the birds were found were impossibly remote, this from Jackson 2010.

In Ghost Bird, aerial photographs clearly show the busy traffic along Arkansas Highway 17 and along Interstate 40 at the north and south ends of the approximately 3-mile stretch of the Cache River, buffered by an approximately one-mile–wide patch of forest, where the observations were made. As the news of the potential rediscovery of the Ivory-bill unfolded, an aerial photo of the area where the sightings occurred appeared on the Internet. It had been taken from an altitude such that the edges of the forest were clearly visible, showing that the forest was a ribbon of habitat bounded by cleared agricultural land. Within days, that photo was changed to one taken from a lower altitude, showing the big trees and no limits to the forest. This limitless forest impression was also conferred by a special CBS 60 Minutes report that referred to the area as the “Amazon of North America.”

Have a look at the site of the rediscovery which is a highly fragmented landscape and gets 120K visitors annually!
You win the pool money with these giant red herrings. Almost all 21st century sightings we're in very large habitat blocks of 30,000 to 1 million acres. For the Sparling sighting to be the first sighting of a long sequence of repeat sightings one could expect it to be in an accessible area.

The sequence of sightings themselves as far as habitat has the Ring of Truth in it. The first sightings are in an accessible area and then in
subsequent sightings the areas become more inaccessible with larger habitat blocks involved. Nothing unusual at all.
 

Diane D

Well-known member
United States
Read the post again Diane. I'm happy to be convinced that the Cuban sightings were mistaken, hence that caveat, but I have listed 3 strong reasons why that may not be the case. The question to ask is: did Giraldo Alayón, Aimé Pasada, Lester L. Short, Jennifer F. M. Horne and any others involved have cameras in those early expeditions? Digital cameras didn't exist then obviously. If they didn't, then lack of documentation is less surprising. If they did then we keep asking questions. Also bear in mind as other posters have pointed out that these last Cuban forests were not subject to intensive fieldwork unlike the areas in the US as had been pointed out already. It is a chalk and cheese comparison.

Any plans for a trip to Tasmania?
And many in the US can list hundreds of reasons why the ivory bill is a difficult quarry in the United States. Again you show a conspicuousb bias; giving Cuba tremendous latitude. Perhaps you have an affinity for Jackson? Or Cuba Libras?

My understanding is that cameras were involved with Crompton and Dennis obviously and if common Sense prevails 40 years later I hope people traveling that far specifically for an extinct bird had cameras.

It was your assertion not mine.
 
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ZanderII

Well-known member
The bias is rampant. This all despite the habitat in the United States being massive and much more difficult comparatively.
For the benefit of everyone else, John Dennis' seminal paper on IBWO in Cuba can be viewed here.

Some relevant excerpts from the expedition that took 5 days to find an active nest IBWO (2 days longer than it took the guys in the Singer Tract):

For the most part our observations as to habits and behavior follow Tanner's description (1943) of Ivory-bills at the Singer Tract under the heading of 'General Habits and Behavior.

At no time, however, would I say that they were shy.


I'll repeat ad infinitum that there is no evidence that a woodpecker can become the most difficult to observe vertebrate on the planet. If it existed in the Cache it should take less than a week to find an active nest in season, same goes for anywhere else in North America.
 

ZanderII

Well-known member
My understanding is that cameras were involved with Crompton and Dennis obviously and if common Sense prevails 40 years later I hope people traveling that far specifically for an extinct bird had cameras.

It was your assertion not mine.
Can you or anyone else find out if they had suitable cameras? Then you can stop casting shade.
 

ZanderII

Well-known member
Can you or anyone else find out if they had suitable cameras? Then you can stop casting shade.
To partly answer my own question

Rodriguez, C.M.P., Pacheco, N.N. and Velázquez, A.F., 1999. Status actual del Carpintero Real (Campephillus principalis bairdii) en Cuba. Journal of Caribbean Ornithology, 12(3), pp.85-90.


A list of who saw what and when, they had a specialist photographer on the expedition in 1993
 

ZanderII

Well-known member
This paper in Cotinga (note author!) doesn't actually inspire much confidence in those Cuban sightings:

In 1985, Dr. Lester Short obtained permission to search for C. principalis in Cuba. That year he, together with George Reynard and Giraldo Alayón, visited the Cupeyal reserve just west of the area of the 1956 sightings. No woodpeckers were observed but they found fresh marks of a foraging C. principalis and
heard of a report from December 1984 in the area14. Giraldo Alayón and Alberto Estrada continued the search in October 1985 and March 19864,5 and followed George Lamb’s 1956 route. Although the forest close to the coast, near Moa, appeared long gone, the species was apparently still present in Ojito de Agua, one of the most inland territories described by Lamb. On 13 March Alberta Estrada briefly saw a single C. principalis.

Giraldo Alayón then observed a female being attacked by two Cuban Crows Cornus nasicus on 16 March and in April that year an international team including Dr. Lester Short, Dr. Jennifer Horne and George Reynard saw at least one male and one female at the same spot15. One year later, in the afternoon of 16 March 1987, an observation was made that would appear to be the very last positive record of the species. Giraldo Alayón and Aimé Pasada saw a female woodpecker flying at a distance of about 200 m. A National Geographic expedition in 1988 which included Ted Parker and Jerome Jackson could not find the species, although an individual might have been glimpsed7.


No documentation because none seen very well. I recant and respect your sense of injustice Diane; this doesn't look great. How about a partial albino Cuban Crow (corvids with white wings are common) as a potential confusion species?

Happy to accept the species went extinct globally around 1948 when the last Cuban birds were documented.
 

ZanderII

Well-known member
The sequence of sightings themselves as far as habitat has the Ring of Truth in it. The first sightings are in an accessible area and then in
subsequent sightings the areas become more inaccessible with larger habitat blocks involved. Nothing unusual at all.

They aren't inaccessible though and have a long history of field research and amateur ornithology prior to 'rediscovery' that never produced sightings of IBWOs and no confirmation associated with the rediscovery. The fact that there was a report from an accessible area suggests that if the species was extant there should be others from accessible areas, even non-forest areas, where the species would be easily documented.

Again, to sum up:

Expeditions to find the suspected last IBWOs in the US and Cuba in the 1930s-40s were successful at finding the birds and their nests in the space of few days and produced ample documentation with primitive technology.

This is the single most powerful argument against the 'they live among us argument' of believers.
 
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Diane D

Well-known member
United States
They aren't inaccessible though and have a long history of field research and amateur ornithology prior to 'rediscovery' that never produced sightings of IBWOs and no confirmation associated with the rediscovery. The fact that there was a report from an accessible area suggests that if the species was extant there should be others from accessible areas, even non-forest areas, where the species would be easily documented.

Again, to sum up:

Expeditions to find the suspected last IBWOs in the US and Cuba in the 1930s-40s were successful at finding the birds and their nests in the space of few days and produced ample documentation with primitive technology.

This is the single most powerful argument against the 'they live among us argument' of believers.
Quite misleading. The only birds that allen and Tanner could "find" they didn't. The only nests that Allen and Tanner could find they didn't. There was a local caretaker who was tasked and employed at watching over the area. He built up many years of ib knowledge and noticed some general to specific sight and nest fidelity.

Tanner and his handlers agreed that there were at least 24 birds in Usa. He was unaware of eight contemporary birds in Mississippi. So it is probable that there were 32 birds minimum then. Tanner may have observed over his entire early career only a few birds a year and he was led to most of them.

His success rate was 0 % rising to ~6% of birds in existence after years in the field and again he almost always had a guide who was there for a decade plus.

Without a guide Tanner never found a bird until his later trip when he used prior gen.

Glad to agree that the Cuban evidence is very weak even though I do not doubt they were there.

I accept that conspiracies are fictional in almost all cases. I am skeptical of the extinction of the ivory billed and see no real data that indicates range-wide Extinction.
 
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