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

John Mariani

Well-known member
Jane Turner said:
Maybe - but serious birders are likely to compromise on food, clothes, personal hygiene, their partner's well-being(if they can keep one) before they compromise on their optics.

Well...I would consider myself serious, and I love the view through a Zeiss binocular but... there are some nice Pentax and Nikons (etc.) out there that cost less than half as much, and so I've compromised. Always figured even if I had the money I'd rather spend the extra cash on a special birding trip and settle for an acceptable reduction in quality. Acceptable to me anyway...

But no compacts. Even the good ones are too dim for owling.

Bobby Harrison could surely afford at least a pair of Nikon Monarchs or waterproof Pentax's?
 

John Mariani

Well-known member
timeshadowed said:
Is there any chance of ordering this as a 'single issue' and for how much money?

Why not subscribe? That way you get all the good stuff about other birds too. Most informative general publication on North American birds, and they aren't even paying me to say that.
 

timeshadowed

Time is a Shadow
John Mariani said:
Why not subscribe? That way you get all the good stuff about other birds too. Most informative general publication on North American birds, and they aren't even paying me to say that.

Sorry, I just don't have the $45, now or latter. I'm very low-income. All of my money goes for putting a roof over my head, food on the table and gas to get to work. There just is not that much left over to pay for mags.
 

humminbird

Well-known member
John Mariani said:
Well...I would consider myself serious, and I love the view through a Zeiss binocular but... there are some nice Pentax and Nikons (etc.) out there that cost less than half as much, and so I've compromised. Always figured even if I had the money I'd rather spend the extra cash on a special birding trip and settle for an acceptable reduction in quality. Acceptable to me anyway...

But no compacts. Even the good ones are too dim for owling.

Bobby Harrison could surely afford at least a pair of Nikon Monarchs or waterproof Pentax's?


Got to agree with most of the above. Haven't seen the photo in question, but I have seen some amazing optics recently that were very small, "compact" like pieces. Way out of my price range so I did not pursue them further.
 

Mike Johnston

Well-known member
Cyberthrush has obtained a copy of Geoff hill's new 'Ivorybill Hunters' and has a mini-review on his site. He quotes Hill's closing thoughts (written before this search season):

"What I am sure of is that the ivorybills are there. Not one bird. Not a single pair. At least a half dozen pairs and perhaps tens of pairs of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers in the extensive swamp forests along the Choctawhatchee River. The Ivory-billed Woodpecker is not extinct. It isn't even hanging by a thread. It has a toehold in the forests on the Florida Panhandle."

That's at least 12, and perhaps 20+, 1.5 foot Campephilus woodpeckers kenting, knocking and flying around down there.
 
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cyberthrush

Well-known member
Mike Johnston said:
Cyberthrush has obtained a copy of Geoff hill's new 'Ivorybill Hunters' and has a mini-review on his site. He quotes Hill's closing thoughts (written before this search season).....

[

just a note: I hesitated using this quote (out of a 240+ pg. book) knowing skeptical sorts would have a field day with it, but chose it, not for the particular numbers stated, but because of the level of confidence it expresses in the sightings/evidence.
It is often said in this debate that "birders, even good birders, make mistakes;" well, duhhh, of course individual mistakes happen in any endeavor, but it is actually extremely rare that so many birders at this level, across decades and across regions and in different circumstances, make seemingly similar mistakes about such a significant bird while expressing this level of confidence -- many folks, both now and in the past, have not said "I think I saw an IBWO," "I may have seen an IBWO," or "it looked like an IBWO." They're saying "I SAW an Ivorybill," plain and simple. Only peoples' preconceived notions make their confidence seem unwarranted at the same time that so much other unvalidated or erroneous birding data is routinely turned in unquestioned. It takes a lot of speculative mental gymnastics and presumption to so automatically discount what other birders THERE on the ground confidentally believe they saw, while others of us were 100s or 1000s of miles away.
 

pcoin

Well-known member
Hill statements in book versus web site, paper

cyberthrush said:
just a note: I hesitated using this quote (out of a 240+ pg. book) knowing skeptical sorts would have a field day with it, ... They're saying "I SAW an Ivorybill," plain and simple.

This is what is so odd about Hill's statements. If they are sure they saw an Ivory-bill, isn't that proof? Yet on their web site, they say:

Not Proof
Although members of our search group are convinced that Ivory-billed Woodpeckers persist in the swamp forests along the Choctawhatchee River, we readily concede that the evidence we have amassed to date falls short of definitive. Definitive evidence will come in the form of a clear, indisputable film, digital image, or video image of an Ivory-billed Woodpecker or perhaps from a fresh feather or DNA sample. No such indisputable evidence has been gathered since photographic images of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers were made in the Singer Tract of Louisiana in the 1930s.

While we do not present our evidence as proof, we feel that the evidence that we have amassed is compelling and warrants a substantial follow-up effort.
(END QUOTE FROM WEB SITE)

And from their paper:
Our evidence suggests that Ivory-billed Woodpeckers may be present in the forests along the Choctawhatchee River and warrants an expanded search of this bottomland forest habitat.

Honestly, how do you square the definitive statements in the book with the statements on Hill's web site and in the paper?

What do you think of their audio evidence, incidentally? I know you've not necessarily been a big fan of audio evidence in discussing the Arkansas sightings...

--Best wishes,
 

humminbird

Well-known member
pcoin said:
This is what is so odd about Hill's statements. If they are sure they saw an Ivory-bill, isn't that proof? Yet on their web site, they say:

Not Proof
Although members of our search group are convinced that Ivory-billed Woodpeckers persist in the swamp forests along the Choctawhatchee River, we readily concede that the evidence we have amassed to date falls short of definitive. Definitive evidence will come in the form of a clear, indisputable film, digital image, or video image of an Ivory-billed Woodpecker or perhaps from a fresh feather or DNA sample. No such indisputable evidence has been gathered since photographic images of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers were made in the Singer Tract of Louisiana in the 1930s.

While we do not present our evidence as proof, we feel that the evidence that we have amassed is compelling and warrants a substantial follow-up effort.
(END QUOTE FROM WEB SITE)

And from their paper:
Our evidence suggests that Ivory-billed Woodpeckers may be present in the forests along the Choctawhatchee River and warrants an expanded search of this bottomland forest habitat.

Honestly, how do you square the definitive statements in the book with the statements on Hill's web site and in the paper?

What do you think of their audio evidence, incidentally? I know you've not necessarily been a big fan of audio evidence in discussing the Arkansas sightings...

--Best wishes,

Simple. Like so many others, they are convinced, but they can not provide supporting materials that would convince the rest of us. Thus, they know what they saw, but can not show us what they saw.
 

cyberthrush

Well-known member
pcoin said:
This is what is so odd about Hill's statements. If they are sure they saw an Ivory-bill, isn't that proof?...

well no, personal belief, no matter how strong is not 'proof' to the scientific community (I suspect we all have things we absolutely believe, but know we can't prove scientifically) -- in this specific case, Hill was well aware that without the current standard of photographic evidence he couldn't call his findings proven even though he and team members ARE 100% convinced (especially after watching what Cornell has gone thru). I may believe humans likely evolved on this Earth and there's a lot of evidence for it, but I would never claim I could prove that either.

Honestly, how do you square the definitive statements in the book with the statements on Hill's web site and in the paper?

it's just the difference between feeling free to speak one's mind in a book for the masses versus using more rigorous academic language for a much narrower audience; nothing peculiar in that I don't believe. The famous Watson/Crick paper is a masterpiece (I think) of succinct scientific writing, but James Watson's popular book "The Double Helix" was written in a very different style.

What do you think of their audio evidence, incidentally? I know you've not necessarily been a big fan of audio evidence in discussing the Arkansas sightings...

I like to see all possible evidence put forth as backup to their case, but no, by itself I'm not a huge fan of audio evidence, foraging sign, or any other evidence other than sightings from credible observers (under some circumstances DNA might be useful, but that too gets tricky). In fact I'm waiting to hear back from Geoff right now about a small audio question that's troubling to me (nothing major, just irksome).
 

humminbird

Well-known member
cyberthrush said:
well no, personal belief, no matter how strong is not 'proof' to the scientific community (I suspect we all have things we absolutely believe, but know we can't prove scientifically) -- in this specific case, Hill was well aware that without the current standard of photographic evidence he couldn't call his findings proven even though he and team members ARE 100% convinced (especially after watching what Cornell has gone thru). I may believe humans likely evolved on this Earth and there's a lot of evidence for it, but I would never claim I could prove that either.



it's just the difference between feeling free to speak one's mind in a book for the masses versus using more rigorous academic language for a much narrower audience; nothing peculiar in that I don't believe. The famous Watson/Crick paper is a masterpiece (I think) of succinct scientific writing, but James Watson's popular book "The Double Helix" was written in a very different style.



I like to see all possible evidence put forth as backup to their case, but no, by itself I'm not a huge fan of audio evidence, foraging sign, or any other evidence other than sightings from credible observers (under some circumstances DNA might be useful, but that too gets tricky). In fact I'm waiting to hear back from Geoff right now about a small audio question that's troubling to me (nothing major, just irksome).


Could not agree with you more.
 

pcoin

Well-known member
Hill's 100% vs. "proof"

cyberthrush said:
well no, personal belief, no matter how strong is not 'proof' to the scientific community (I suspect we all have things we absolutely believe, but know we can't prove scientifically) -- in this specific case, Hill was well aware that without the current standard of photographic evidence he couldn't call his findings proven even though he and team members ARE 100% convinced (especially after watching what Cornell has gone thru). I may believe humans likely evolved on this Earth and there's a lot of evidence for it, but I would never claim I could prove that either.
I think a researcher in evolutionary biology could present that in such a way as to convince most colleagues, and that would constitute "proof". It would be an inductive sort of reasoning, not quite as ironclad as deductive evidence resulting from experiments, but that is what you usually have in paleontology, field biology, etc., which are more historical, inductive-based sciences than experimental work.

cyberthrush said:
it's just the difference between feeling free to speak one's mind in a book for the masses versus using more rigorous academic language for a much narrower audience; nothing peculiar in that I don't believe. The famous Watson/Crick paper is a masterpiece (I think) of succinct scientific writing, but James Watson's popular book "The Double Helix" was written in a very different style.
Yes, indeed, I have read both and agree with you about the style, but have to disagree completely about the conclusions in each. In The Double Helix, the conclusions are basically the same as in the paper--DNA base-pairing encodes the genetic information. Reading Hill's statements, I feel like they are hedging their bets--being cautious in the paper so that they can say they never said they had proof if things don't work out, but being 100% sure. Yet things are, apparently, hyperbolized in the book and on-line. I saw it all the time when I was a researcher--heads of labs making extraordinary statements, not really justified by the data. Everyone learned to take these statements from any lab chief with many grains of salt. I guess that's normal politics of science.

cyberthrush said:
I like to see all possible evidence put forth as backup to their case, but no, by itself I'm not a huge fan of audio evidence, foraging sign, or any other evidence other than sightings from credible observers (under some circumstances DNA might be useful, but that too gets tricky). In fact I'm waiting to hear back from Geoff right now about a small audio question that's troubling to me (nothing major, just irksome).
Yes, thanks for clarifying that. It bothers me that so much of Hill's stuff is audio evidence, and it was uncontrolled--they did not make recordings at other sights and look for kent calls and double-raps. This could have been done, with the audio technicians "blind" to the site where the recording was made, but it was not. Again, when I was a researcher, I always tried to do subjectively-based measurements without knowing the treatment status. That way, I had confidence in my results, even though they required subjective judgments. (I was doing experimental pathology, where a lot was based on interpretation of histology slides.) Cornell, I feel, had the same problems with their audio analysis--no control recordings from similar sites where IBWO were not hypothesized to exist.

I think a similar problem exists with the bark-adhesion measurements--Hill's group did not, that I read, go to a site without putative IBWO and make a similar series of measurements. Without controls, I felt that data was meaningless.
 

emupilot

Well-known member
pcoin said:
Yes, thanks for clarifying that. It bothers me that so much of Hill's stuff is audio evidence, and it was uncontrolled--they did not make recordings at other sights and look for kent calls and double-raps. This could have been done, with the audio technicians "blind" to the site where the recording was made, but it was not. Again, when I was a researcher, I always tried to do subjectively-based measurements without knowing the treatment status. That way, I had confidence in my results, even though they required subjective judgments. (I was doing experimental pathology, where a lot was based on interpretation of histology slides.) Cornell, I feel, had the same problems with their audio analysis--no control recordings from similar sites where IBWO were not hypothesized to exist.

I think a similar problem exists with the bark-adhesion measurements--Hill's group did not, that I read, go to a site without putative IBWO and make a similar series of measurements. Without controls, I felt that data was meaningless.

Although I think Hill's audio recordings (especially double-knocks) are probably Ivory-billed Woodpeckers, as I haven't heard alternate explanations which make sense, but I agree with you that the lack of a control is a serious weakness to Hill's analysis. They did do a "control" with respect to cavity size, so I don't understand why they did not with the audio.
 
has night time audio been analysed?

they are amazingly quiet and reticent to comment on this

oh, and where are those ten pairs?

hilarious, and i really do mean that most sincerely folks

HILLarious

Tim
 

humminbird

Well-known member
Tim Allwood said:
has night time audio been analysed?

they are amazingly quiet and reticent to comment on this

oh, and where are those ten pairs?

hilarious, and i really do mean that most sincerely folks

HILLarious

Tim


And others wonder why professor Hill has not attempted to give us evidence that is acceptable in every other field of biology!
 

chris murphy

Used Register
Ebay curiosity

Noticed that the reported IBWO picture for sale on Ebay has not met the reserve price, despite having bids for $280. I thought the reserve price was $100........curious......
 

cyberthrush

Well-known member
Rediscovered said:
No, the reserve price was much higher, as the seller told me. Why, he wasn't willing to explain.

it's a tad fishy that the seller and photographer are NOT one-and-the-same (not to mention MANY other fishy details) -- hmmmm... maybe this is the IBWO-version of the Nigerian internet scam and they're just fishing for victims (or at least to find out what a 'victim' might pay for such)...
 

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