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Ivory-billed Woodpecker (formerly updates) (1 Viewer)

CornishExile

rydhsys rag Kernow lemmyn!
James Eaton said:
With such ridiculous reports as the one I've copied below (which I had to smile at) we are always going to remain sceptical until an acceptable photograph has been published. Which in my opinion can't be too difficult.

Funny you should say that, James. I made the same point back in August, and was put right by Snowy1.

Snowy1 said:
Quote: "I cannot accept that retiring and skulky species of antpitta or wren babbler can be rediscovered after decades 'lost' in the rainforests of South America or the Himalayas, and be duly photographed and their continued existence proved beyond doubt, and yet this large woodpecker is somehow beyond that process.

ce"


CE did not compare apples to apples when speaking of the rain forest and the Himalayas. As I've said before, it may take years before a "good" photograph is taken. You must understand the habitat we are talking about. Have any of you tried to do any lengthy work in an American bottomland swamp? It's not as easy as it looks or sounds.

Which told me, then.

Anyway, the photos will come soon, and we'll all end up loving one another. Until the next 'extinct' bird is rediscovered. Smart money on Slender-billed Curlew, and the boot will be on the other foot across the Atlantic. Except I'm guessing the circumstances around such a claim would be more, substantive, shall we say? ;)

ce
 
Oh man

I've been contacted by someone else now... been sent a photo (confidential and not for public dissemination of course)... but....

If the person doesn't come forward i'm posting it in 24 hours - and it aint pretty!

It's way beyond a joke

Tim
 

timeshadowed

Time is a Shadow
A photo of an IBWO ??????????

Or a photo of something else ???????




Tim Allwood said:
Oh man

I've been contacted by someone else now... been sent a photo (confidential and not for public dissemination of course)... but....

If the person doesn't come forward i'm posting it in 24 hours - and it aint pretty!

It's way beyond a joke

Tim
 

theveeb

Well-known member
choupique1 said:
good call brother james

I asked a simple answer, but didn't get a simple answer (i.e. no), so I assume that the answer must be a yes, or a complicated no. Any encounter details you are willing to divulge? Or are you waiting until you have a decent image or set of images? I can wait.

the veeb
 

naples

Well-known member
Tim Allwood said:
Oh man

I've been contacted by someone else now... been sent a photo (confidential and not for public dissemination of course)... but....

If the person doesn't come forward i'm posting it in 24 hours - and it aint pretty!

It's way beyond a joke

Tim

Not another bigfoot picture
 

Snowy1

Well-known member
Thanks Fang for that in-depth analysis. Although I'm still retired from this forum I read it only for posts such as yours which bring new and interesting points forward. One of those points is certainly the peaks in Kent calls during the day. As you say it would rule out the wind, which was one of my worries on some of the sounds. A question on your analysis - as EMU said, is it safe to draw conclusions (or attemp to draw conclusions) about this data based on limited recordings from the 1930s, from one state, LA? I'm not sure if this is true for campephilus woodpeckers but when it comes to Northern Cardinals they sound very different here in Montreal than they do in AR. Am I understanding your comments in the right manner? I get the impression you are either not able to/don't want to draw conclusions or don't think they are IBWO at all.

fangsheath said:
Hill et al. - acoustic evidence

putative kents - Assuming that recordings were made day and night, as implied by the authors, putative kents occurred only during daylight and in fact never before sunrise or after sunset. There were two peaks, one in mid-morning (9:00-10:00) and another in late afternoon (4:00-5:00). This would seem to eliminate wind as a source. When putative kents for a given day are strung together it is clear that many of them are coming from the same source. However, it seems equally apparent that some are very different from others. Particularly, most of the putative kents recorded after 3/13 are relatively high pitched and have few harmonics. Virtually all of these notes have 3 frequency peaks separated by about 900 Hz, the first peak at about 850 Hz. This is a very poor match to known ivory-bill kent calls, which have frequency peaks separated by about 650-700 Hz beginning at about 630 Hz. It is also notable that many of these calls have no double-knocks associated with them. In fact, double-knocks drop off after mid-Mar and several days, including 3/15, 3/16, 3/22, 4/4, 4/9, and 4/11 have multiple putative kents with no double-knocks at all. Many of these putative kents follow the pattern I have indicated above. Many putative kents recorded earlier in the season, when double-knocks are common, are quite different. They are often lower-pitched, sharper, more nasal, and much less mechanical-sounding to my ear. They tend to exhibit many frequency peaks, the louder notes having a base frequency at about 550 Hz and the harmonics spaced about 550 Hz. This is exemplified by a fairly loud putative kent recorded at 11:34 A.M. on 2/10. This note has at least 9 frequency peaks, spaced about 550 Hz apart. Although this not an extremely good match to known ivory-bill notes, it is pretty close, and these may not be kent calls but some other ivory-bill vocalization. If they are bird sounds it is difficult for me to envision what species they might be other than ivory-bill. Lame suggestions such as blue jay, nuthatch, or heron are hardly worth considering. We are talking about multiple notes over periods of days, with no accompanying calls remotely like any of those species. Anyone who has spent a lot of time in southern swamps knows that these are very unusual sounds. However, we don't know for a fact that they are bird sounds, and it does seem odd that with all of these putative ivory-bill notes there is not one example of a series of relatively quick kent-like notes, as was recorded on 4 days in Ark and at the Singer Tract. One series of putative kents, that recorded on 1/22, seems rather moorhen-ish to me. These notes have about a 950 Hz spacing between peaks, quite un-ivory-billish, and moorhen sometimes do give occasional single notes like this.

putative double-knocks - Double-knocks were only recorded during the day. There was a peak in early morning (6:00-9:00) and another sharp peak in late afternoon (3:00-5:00). A few double-knocks were recorded before dawn but only a few minutes before. None occurred after sunset. These patterns are a sharp contrast the Arkansas results, in which double-knocks peaked pre-sunrise and just post-sunset. Florida double-knocks varied in internal knock spacing, with a mean of 115 msec. Arkansas double-knocks presented on the CLO website appear to have a knock spacing of 70-105 msec. Florida double-knocks within bouts tend to have similar internal knock spacing - compare the spacing of the series of 4 recorded on 1/20 to that of the series of 2 recorded later that same afternoon.

The incongruities between the Florida, Arkansas, and Singer Tract acoustic results are troubling. After the "killer" video is obtained (or perhaps even before) I hope that the Florida researchers will employ direction-finding to pinpoint the sources of sounds. This would not only potentially help to get estimates of the number of birds in the area but help reveal movement patterns and provide stakeout points. It would also eliminate confusion with distant sounds and pinpoint mechanical sources of kent-like sounds.

These remarks were intended for grownups. I welcome constructive criticism. Destructive or infantile remarks will be assiduously ignored.
 
fangsheath said:
Hill et al. - acoustic evidence
...
<snip>
...
These remarks were intended for grownups. I welcome constructive criticism. Destructive or infantile remarks will be assiduously ignored.

I have been "avidly lurking" (someone else's phrase from a couple of days ago) for a few months. This is not the first time that I have been immensely impressed with fangsheath's posting and general demeanor. Consider this a well deserved and overdue "Well done!" from at least one lurker. You have always been informative, honest, open, analytical, and it looks like you are also out there busting your butt in the field. You don't sink into name calling and sarcasm which is certainly fun but unlikely to be particularly useful (esp. to the woodpeckers).

I wish you good luck and Godspeed in your quest!
 

John Mariani

Well-known member
Tim Allwood said:
Oh man

I've been contacted by someone else now... been sent a photo (confidential and not for public dissemination of course)... but....

If the person doesn't come forward i'm posting it in 24 hours - and it aint pretty!

It's way beyond a joke

Tim

I recently recieved an email, subject line "fyi only ibwo photo" with attached photos. I don't recognize the sender's name. The sender also wrote "At this time, this information is not for public dissemination." Because of virus concerns I didn't immediately open the attached files, which were a couple of worthless pictures, one of trees and another of a blurry white shape. I think someone is trying to have fun with some of us...
 

Sidewinder

Well-known member
Fangsheath,

Some of the acoustic patterns you elucidated are consistent with what we know about Pileated Woodpeckers. From the Birds of North America account for PIWO:

Phenology of vocalizing - Majority of vocalization is during courtship, announcing territory. Pairs maintain communication all year; they are least vocal in winter.

Daily pattern of vocalizing - Majority of territorial calls are given in morning; birds frequently call on way to roost in evening.

Phenology of drumming - Birds drum all year but most most frequently during early spring as courtship activities begin.

Daily pattern of drumming - Drumming is most frequent in morning, but can occur through the day and increases in frequency again in late afternoon.

Association of vocal and nonvocal sounds - Vocalizations are often given in association with drumming.

I don't know much about the extent of geographic variation in woodpecker vocalizations, but woodpeckers often do produce an impressive range of somewhat similar but still distinct vocalizations--as you are undoubtedly aware. Here's a sampling from Pileated Woodpecker, again from the BNA account (with varying terminology depending on source; I've edited the commentary by removing some mundane details):

Waa Call - a soft nasal call given during close interactions of a pair

Wok Call - uttered in series of up to 8 notes at about 3 notes/s; occurs during interactions between individuals (or the High Call described as having a regular pattern of 6–8 high-pitched cuks with a terminal cuk of lower pitch. Possibly the main breeding notes).

Wuk Call - includes single notes and series of wuk used in territorial proclamation, in interactions at a distance, and by bird flying to pair member to copulate; also in alarm—a loose, irregular series of wuk notes are often given by disturbed birds. This seems to be the “loud, high-pitched, nasal ‘kuk-kuk, kuk-kuk,’ etc.” described by another author and the “laughing” or “cackling” call that is often heard in old “jungle” movies. During long flights, often gives intermittent puck or wuk notes that sometimes seem to rise and fall in pitch. These seem to be the same as the Random Cuks of yet another author and to be simply less intense versions of the Wuk Call.

Mewing Call - consists of somewhat whining notes given 5–6 times in a series; given in courtship, and seems to be the Hn, Hn of another author.

Wichew Call - seems to be a greeting call given by pair members in close proximity, e.g., at a nest. One or both often give this repeated 2-syllable call which is reminiscent of calls given by Northern Flickers in a similar context.

G-waick, G-waick - described as being shrill and loud, given when a bird encounters a rival or another pair. This seems to be a more intense version of the Woick, Woick.
 
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John Mariani said:
I recently recieved an email, subject line "fyi only ibwo photo" with attached photos. I don't recognize the sender's name. The sender also wrote "At this time, this information is not for public dissemination." Because of virus concerns I didn't immediately open the attached files, which were a couple of worthless pictures, one of trees and another of a blurry white shape. I think someone is trying to have fun with some of us...


that's the one

I gave them my opinion of it ;)

Tim
 

Bonsaibirder

http://mobro.co/saddinall
fangsheath said:
These remarks were intended for grownups. I welcome constructive criticism. Destructive or infantile remarks will be assiduously ignored.
Hi Fang,

The lack of kents or double knocks at night helps to eliminate wind as a source for the noises as long as the listening devices were recording all night. I don't have the paper right now - does it say they were recording 24h?

Cheers,
 

fangsheath

Well-known member
Snowy - If there were strong enough similarities between the Florida and Singer Tract kent recordings, in both frequency characteristics and cadence, I would say we could draw strong inferences. Since we don't have that I would only call the Florida result strongly suggestive. The frequency structure and cadence of the Arkansas kents is very similar to that of many Singer Tract sequences. The presence of multiple notes in fairly rapid sequence with the proper cadence is a very important feature in my mind. We don't yet have that in the Florida recordings. It leaves us with a puzzle, but one that is resolvable assuming they continue to get these kinds of results in their study area. I should mention that Rolek and Swinton did report 20 kent calls within a short period (a minute or so apparently) on 2/8. There are other such examples. So the absence of such a sequence on the recordings may simply reflect the fact that it is much less common than single notes, and it is only a matter of time before such a sequence is recorded.

Sidewinder - You are certainly correct about variation in pileated vocalizations. Other species also have a lot of call variation. Tanner described four basic calls in adult ivory-bills and said that only 2 had been recorded. The other 2 included an alarm call, essentially a higher-pitched kent, frequently doubled, and a "kient" call, slurring and prolonged. Of course there may be other variations.

Bonsaibirder - That recordings occurred at all hours is strongly implied by the statement, "To facilitate 24-h recordings, sounds were recorded as MP3 files...." What is much less clear is whether the same amount of effort went into searching for candidate sounds at all times of day and night. I am happy to give professional scientists the benefit of the doubt until I have reason to think otherwise.
 

MMinNY

Well-known member
Hi Fangsheath,

Thank you for the hard work that went into preparing that analysis.

I hadn't watched the Charif talk before. I found it quite interesting and am wondering if you think the methods Cornell used would be helpful for examining the Auburn material. The analysis of the sound recordings in the paper is quite thin, and a lot more work is obviously needed. I hope the presentation on double knocks goes further and that more is forthcoming with regard to the kents as well.

It's interesting to note that Cornell was only recording eight hours a day, 4 hours in the AM and 4 in the PM. So it appears the Auburn team was being considerably more thorough, at least in this regard.

I was a bit puzzled by your reference to "mechanical sources." It's my impression that those have been ruled out based on the remoteness of the location, although I'm not sure that has been explicitly stated anywhere.

On a slightly different topic, I encourage people to listen to the recorded interview with Geoff Hill that Mike Johnston linked to yesterday. Toward the end, it includes some very interesting information about foraging sign and some speculation about IBWO feeding habits. It will shape the way you look at the photos of the scaling. And I would add that Mike Collins's recent photos of scaling from Louisiana show similar characteristics.


fangsheath said:
Snowy - If there were strong enough similarities between the Florida and Singer Tract kent recordings, in both frequency characteristics and cadence, I would say we could draw strong inferences. Since we don't have that I would only call the Florida result strongly suggestive. The frequency structure and cadence of the Arkansas kents is very similar to that of many Singer Tract sequences. The presence of multiple notes in fairly rapid sequence with the proper cadence is a very important feature in my mind. We don't yet have that in the Florida recordings. It leaves us with a puzzle, but one that is resolvable assuming they continue to get these kinds of results in their study area. I should mention that Rolek and Swinton did report 20 kent calls within a short period (a minute or so apparently) on 2/8. There are other such examples. So the absence of such a sequence on the recordings may simply reflect the fact that it is much less common than single notes, and it is only a matter of time before such a sequence is recorded.

Sidewinder - You are certainly correct about variation in pileated vocalizations. Other species also have a lot of call variation. Tanner described four basic calls in adult ivory-bills and said that only 2 had been recorded. The other 2 included an alarm call, essentially a higher-pitched kent, frequently doubled, and a "kient" call, slurring and prolonged. Of course there may be other variations.

Bonsaibirder - That recordings occurred at all hours is strongly implied by the statement, "To facilitate 24-h recordings, sounds were recorded as MP3 files...." What is much less clear is whether the same amount of effort went into searching for candidate sounds at all times of day and night. I am happy to give professional scientists the benefit of the doubt until I have reason to think otherwise.
 

theveeb

Well-known member
Snowy1 said:
I'm not sure if this is true for campephilus woodpeckers but when it comes to Northern Cardinals they sound very different here in Montreal than they do in AR.

Most song birds (e.g., Northern Cardinal) learn their songs which account for regional dialects. I'm guessing woodpecker calls are not learned but correct me if I am wrong.

BTW: "The Singing Life of Birds" by Donald Kroodsma is a great book to read if you are generally interested in this topic, engaging and very accessible.

the veeb
 

Sidewinder

Well-known member
MMinNY wrote: "It's interesting to note that Cornell was only recording eight hours a day, 4 hours in the AM and 4 in the PM. So it appears the Auburn team was being considerably more thorough, at least in this regard."

Do you know what format Cornell recorded in? WAV files are much larger and would fill the recording media much faster than MP3 files. Although the latter can be adequate, and are probably necessary for extended autonomous recording, the WAV files have much higher resolution. It's a trade-off between file size and quality, and may reflect the different purposes, budgets, or manpower constraints of the research groups.
 

MMinNY

Well-known member
I don't know, but that explanation certainly makes sense. Anyone know how much impact the difference in quality might have on the analysis?

In the interview, Hill makes it clear his budget was tiny, $10,000 if I remember correctly.

Sidewinder said:
MMinNY wrote: "It's interesting to note that Cornell was only recording eight hours a day, 4 hours in the AM and 4 in the PM. So it appears the Auburn team was being considerably more thorough, at least in this regard."

Do you know what format Cornell recorded in? WAV files are much larger and would fill the recording media much faster than MP3 files. Although the latter can be adequate, and are probably necessary for extended autonomous recording, the WAV files have much higher resolution. It's a trade-off between file size and quality, and may reflect the different purposes, budgets, or manpower constraints of the research groups.
 
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MMinNY said:
I don't know, but that explanation certainly makes sense. Anyone know how much impact the difference in quality might have on the analysis?
.

Some basic common sense and good old fashioned science might help them in their analysis too. Search for poss IBWOs and guess what you find...

learning how to take notes might be a start (look at some that Jane or Dave Bryant have posted in the past). British County reports have far more professional examples in them. If i saw an IBWO in the field, I'd be writing a f****** book of fieldnotes instantly. Muppets.

all those 'calls', all those 'holes', 4 months permanently in a 2 sq mile area and all we get is a bunch of well dodgy sightings... all in flight.

Tim
 

MMinNY

Well-known member
That wasn't the question. I should let this foppery pass, but since you're using my reasonable and specific question about audio evidence to get back on your soapbox about other subjects, I'm going to respond.

It's time to put up or shut up. You've got the general vicinity of the sightings, and Geoff Hill's website gives you plenty of areas to search in. You don't need Choupique or anyone else to take you to the birds.

Go ahead. Spend four winter months sleeping on the ground in North Florida, as Brian Rolek did. Then come back and show us what you've got. Until then, regardless of your stellar birding credentials and admirable conservation work, you're just blowing smoke.

I'd still like to know about the audio.



Tim Allwood said:
Some basic common sense and good old fashioned science might help them in their analysis too. Search for poss IBWOs and guess what you find...

learning how to take notes might be a start (look at some that Jane or Dave Bryant have posted in the past). British County reports have far more professional examples in them. If i saw an IBWO in the field, I'd be writing a f****** book of fieldnotes instantly. Muppets.

all those 'calls', all those 'holes', 4 months permanently in a 2 sq mile area and all we get is a bunch of well dodgy sightings... all in flight.

Tim
 

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