That isn't how science works Diane, you need to collect the same data everywhere. Then at the very least you have something of value from spending huge amounts of money looking for an extinct species. If the species had been found you would be able to look for community associations which would give you predictive power to understand what IBWOs need.
Searchers obviously can do what they like with their drones, kayak-cams and the like to get poor images of Pileated Woodpeckers.
No Zander that's your version of how science works. You're just being argumentative.
Scientific pursuit is adaptable to field conditions. The ivory build dominated field conditions or news in the first decade of the millennia over here. The target specie's presence absence
should have been the dominant, and as practical the only data set along with GPS coordinates, wind , weather.
When you study shore birds you don't set up the Cannon net to get great-tailed grackles , although you might, you set it up to get scholapad days. Grackles might be mentioned only as incidental and unimportant take. They won't be mentioned in the abstract. The design of studies for one species almost always focuses on that species. It's fiction to think the survey couldn't have been designed with a narrow scope, it's common to use public money for even narrow scope studies.
Chapman a great ivory build Hunter eventually saw the error in his ways and eventually the US Christmas bird count evolved as a substitute for shooting. The protocol is very different than typical point survey techniques used in formal breeding bird surveys. These surveys often powered by volunteers by volunteers been done for a hundred years we are not depaupered of data on every species encountered in large areas of the usa.
The collecting of basic survey data has become an excuse for conservation in some respect. Many areas around the Earth are reaching build out levels or are within reach of build out levels within a few decades. The presence of birds to the species is well known on the edge of present development. That's where the conservation effort is needed rather than continued counting over and over.
Ivory build woodpecker areas were in general far from the edge of suburban or Urban development. Some areas are already preserved. We are not on the edge of destruction yet in most of those areas. Point being there was plenty of time to look for passerines and community structure whatever else you're getting at.
Up thread there were assertions that powerful skeptics used the same value for our money argument to hurt the surveys.
Is it just coincidence that most of them with that attitude were skeptics?