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Ivory-billed Woodpecker: takeoffs with deep and rapid flaps + wing noises (1 Viewer)

Mike Crawley

Emeritus President at Burnage Rugby Club
Supporter
England
It's a size and black-white pattern thing. Around here in the woods, nothing else compares. I will post results. I especially want to try peripheral vision reaction, and then head-turning with FOV. I agree that live birds, in the proper format, are a better test.

Having looking at the relevant field guides, I’m well aware of the appearance of the target !!!

However, I don’t seem to have made my point clearly.
I'm talking about practice with a new device. "Practice when ever you can" - my birding mentor's opinion on new optics.
I have missed birds on pelagic trips by being under prepared.

Fail to prepare - prepare to fail

practice getting pictures of sparrows, starlings and blackbirds, then when the big moment arrives you are ready
 

400+birder

Well-known member
United States
Do you live near Pileated Woodpecker habitat? Seems to me that if the goal is to film a very large woodpecker, practicing on a large woodpecker might be smart.
There are none on Long Island. I find I can control behavior better, no pun intended, with my wife holding a model.
 

SueO

Well-known member
The swamps, bayous and bottomlands are an ecosystem I am not at all familiar with, and I would like to spend some time in them. I have gotten brief glimpses while driving HWY 10 from California to Louisianna to go to New Orleans. Huge areas of swamp go on for miles. I got a very brief, but closer look when I went to the Clarendon, Arkansas Big Woods Birding Festival in May of 2005. (Clarendon, Arkansas to fete Big Woods Birding Festival May 21 ) This was four years into our circumnavigation, and we were moored in Marmaris, Turkey. My Mother-in-law was having health problems, and we flew to Arkansas. Strangely enough, our visit coincided with a bird fair which was focused on the recent sighting(s) of an IBWO. How serendipitous was that? I had to make the short drive. As I stood on the banks of a bottomland swamp, I recall thinking that a bird that was fearful of people could definitely hang out in there and not be seen. This was in an area with a pretty good amount of human population and activity. I knew there were areas that were much wilder without easy access. There was hope in the air at the fair. Got a couple of great Ivory-billed Woody T-shirts, and went on a few guided bird walks.

All these years later, and after some pretty extensive searches, no definitive evidence was found to support existence.

I found this regarding the searches:

The Search for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker | Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology : Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

There was supposed to be a five-year review in 2019, but I couldn't find anything on that. Maybe a more extensive search will turn something up.

I don't believe Dr. Collins is lying about his sightings. I don't believe he is an idiot or crazy person or hoaxster. He has really put in an Herculean effort to get proof; I don't think someone who wasn't fully convinced by what he saw would undertake such a task. I don't believe the Cornell trained ornithologists and biologists lied about their sightings either. So, what did they see? I would think such trained people would not mix up an IBWO with a pileated. Like many others, I had hope in 2004, 2005. Those hopes have almost completely been dashed. Even Dr. Collins hasn't seen what he thought was an IBWO since 2008. Even if a few stayed hidden in the vast expanses of swamp, there must not be enough of them to make a comeback even with protection. Still, I hope that those places remain protected.

I plan to see the habitat very soon. Wouldn't it be a feather in my cap if I got a great shot with my new Sony?
 
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dantheman

Bah humbug
There are none on Long Island. I find I can control behavior better, no pun intended, with my wife holding a model.
A model is a poor substitute for a real bird - you aren't replicating most of the annoying/frustrating things which a real bird (of any proxy species) will involve you with in the real wild - such as the light being wrong (with a model you just move around a bit), being brief (a model doesn't fly away after 2 seconds- you need to practice instantaneous camera set up/turn on etc), identifying a random moving thing (you know what the model is to start with) etc etc etc ...

(Unless of course you're practising with a model solely in order to get good pictures of a model when in the real habitat ... ;-) )
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
The swamps, bayous and bottomlands are an ecosystem I am not at all familiar with, and I would like to spend some time in them. I have gotten brief glimpses while driving HWY 10 from California to Louisianna to go to New Orleans. Huge areas of swamp go on for miles. I got a very brief, but closer look when I went to the Clarendon, Arkansas Big Woods Birding Festival in May of 2005. (Clarendon, Arkansas to fete Big Woods Birding Festival May 21 ) This was four years into our circumnavigation, and we were moored in Marmaris, Turkey. My Mother-in-law was having health problems, and we flew to Arkansas. Strangely enough, our visit coincided with a bird fair which was focused on the recent sighting(s) of an IBWO. How serendipitous was that? I had to make the short drive. As I stood on the banks of a bottomland swamp, I recall thinking that a bird that was fearful of people could definitely hang out in there and not be seen. This was in an area with a pretty good amount of human population and activity. I knew there were areas that were much wilder without easy access. There was hope in the air at the fair. Got a couple of great Ivory-billed Woody T-shirts, and went on a few guided bird walks.

All these years later, and after some pretty extensive searches, no definitive evidence was found to support existence.

I found this regarding the searches:

The Search for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker | Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology : Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

There was supposed to be a five-year review in 2019, but I couldn't find anything on that. Maybe a more extensive search will turn something up.

I don't believe Dr. Collins is lying about his sightings. I don't believe he is an idiot or crazy person or hoaxster. He has really put in an Herculean effort to get proof; I don't think someone who wasn't fully convinced by what he saw would undertake such a task. I don't believe the Cornell trained ornithologists and biologists lied about their sightings either. So, what did they see? I would think such trained people would not mix up an IBWO with a pileated. Like many others, I had hope in 2004, 2005. Those hopes have almost completely been dashed. Even Dr. Collins hasn't seen what he thought was an IBWO since 2008. Even if a few stayed hidden in the vast expanses of swamp, there must not be enough of them to make a comeback even with protection. Still, I hope that those places remain protected.

I plan to see the habitat very soon. Wouldn't it be a feather in my cap if I got a great shot with my new Sony?
If you were a real birder you would be familiar with the extent to which stringers can convince themselves of their rightness despite all the evidence to the contrary, and the extent to which they will go to try to fool others into accepting their claims. What you are expressing is faith: which has no place in science.

John

John
 

Hauksen

Forum member
Antarctica
Hi John,

Even if you view all the "claims" as only that, it's clear the bird is too fast, far, and rare to get binocs on it easily. I am concerned with the somewhat narrow field of view, but we will see if we can address that somehow. Thanks.

If you'd share a photograph of your the headgear you're using, I could come up with a 3D printable sighting aid to help with keeping the camera on the target bird.

I'd also suggest not to abandon the paddle mount approach entirely - it has already worked once, and with a better camera, it might have given images allowing reliable identification, one way or the other. It would be easy for me to design a twin-rail mount so you can use a small, inexpensive reflex (red dot) sight to aim the Scopecam reliably despite its narrow field of view.

Regards,

Henning
 

400+birder

Well-known member
United States
Hi John,



If you'd share a photograph of your the headgear you're using, I could come up with a 3D printable sighting aid to help with keeping the camera on the target bird.

I'd also suggest not to abandon the paddle mount approach entirely - it has already worked once, and with a better camera, it might have given images allowing reliable identification, one way or the other. It would be easy for me to design a twin-rail mount so you can use a small, inexpensive reflex (red dot) sight to aim the Scopecam reliably despite its narrow field of view.

Regards,

Henning
Thank you! It's a bit early; the system needs more testing. Let me work on it? But I posted a general idea here-- Improved video cam setup for Ivory-Billed Woodpecker
 

Patudo

Well-known member
Even if you view all the "claims" as only that, it's clear the bird is too fast, far, and rare to get binocs on it easily.

Why should that be the case with this species any more than other large woodpeckers such as the black woodpecker, great slaty woodpecker (both regularly recorded by observers via unambiguous photos) or imperial woodpecker (successfully recorded on film prior to its being shot out of existence)?
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Why should that be the case with this species any more than other large woodpeckers such as the black woodpecker, great slaty woodpecker (both regularly recorded by observers via unambiguous photos) or imperial woodpecker (successfully recorded on film prior to its being shot out of existence)?
It shouldn't. Any normally competent birder can bring bins into eyeline without taking eyes off a target and get straight on it. The only bird I've ever seen that was too fast to keep bins on even once "locked on" was a White-throated Needletail.

John
 

400+birder

Well-known member
United States
Why should that be the case with this species any more than other large woodpeckers such as the black woodpecker, great slaty woodpecker (both regularly recorded by observers via unambiguous photos) or imperial woodpecker (successfully recorded on film prior to its being shot out of existence)?
Allow me to flip the question, since you voiced a question and then offered an answer. Can you detail exactly how you would get binoculars on an IB? Where, when, how, with what? Now, further, can you detail exactly how you would get a photographic image? Not any other species, the IB species. What do you know?
 

400+birder

Well-known member
United States
It shouldn't. Any normally competent birder can bring bins into eyeline without taking eyes off a target and get straight on it. The only bird I've ever seen that was too fast to keep bins on even once "locked on" was a White-throated Needletail.

John
Can you detail exactly how you would get binoculars on an IB? Where, when, how, with what? Now, further, can you detail exactly how you would get a photographic image? Not any other species, the IB species. What do you know?
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Can you detail exactly how you would get binoculars on an IB? Where, when, how, with what? Now, further, can you detail exactly how you would get a photographic image? Not any other species, the IB species. What do you know?
All your what-aboutery simply ignores the question that was being answered, which was whether or not IBWO was too fast to get bins on, unlike all the other large woodpeckers of the world (or indeed any other bird). It's not, of course. Should one discover an IBWO, it would take less than a second to get bins focused on it and about two seconds for a normally prepared, capable bird photographer to get a sharp image.

Of course the real trick is to discover an extinct bird, which is the underlying reason for the absence of unequivocal evidence.

John
 
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400+birder

Well-known member
United States
All your what-aboutery simply ignores the question that was being answered, which was whether or not IBWO was too fast to get bins on, unlike all the other large woodpeckers of the world (or indeed any other bird). It's not, of course. Should one discover an IBWO, it would take less than a second to get bins focused on it and about two seconds for a normally prepared, capable bird photographer to get a sharp image.

Of course the real trick is to discover an extinct bird, which is the underlying reason for the absence of unequivocal evidence.

John
What is your experience or study of the species to know what you are talking about? Saying "it's like any other woodpecker" is weak. You obviously write aggressively, but you overstate, and it's not a problem for me to reveal that.
 

Stuart Goodwin

Well-known member
Evening.

Considering the species is being considered as being classed as extinct, I imagine there aren’t to many people who have experience with .

Please, they different from other large woodpeckers?

Regards
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
What is your experience or study of the species to know what you are talking about? Saying "it's like any other woodpecker" is weak. You obviously write aggressively, but you overstate, and it's not a problem for me to reveal that.
Hark who's talking.... It's just a woodpecker (if it's anything at all). It doesn't fly at Mach 1, it moves at woodpecker speed in woodpecker habitat and is as watchable as any other woodpecker. That's if it's not extinct, which I doubt. I don't overstate the easiness, you overstate the difficulty. It's a bird, it moves fairly slowly (and when I'm not birding I tend to be watching military aircraft, so I have a good grasp of the difference between "slow" and "fast" as well as "small" and "far away") and getting on it is historically shown by black and white records to be not difficult, as well as my own forty years of field experience of birds across several continents giving me wide and relevant experience of birdwatching, which is all this is about. Trying to make out it is a special case is a joke.

John
 

400+birder

Well-known member
United States
Evening.

Considering the species is being considered as being classed as extinct, I imagine there aren’t to many people who have experience with .

Please, they different from other large woodpeckers?

Regards
The simplest answer is that no two species on Earth, even same genus, are alike. There are ten to twenty people alive today that I would name as being either specialists, or experienced with the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker.
 

400+birder

Well-known member
United States
Hark who's talking.... It's just a woodpecker (if it's anything at all). It doesn't fly at Mach 1, it moves at woodpecker speed in woodpecker habitat and is as watchable as any other woodpecker. That's if it's not extinct, which I doubt. I don't overstate the easiness, you overstate the difficulty. It's a bird, it moves fairly slowly (and when I'm not birding I tend to be watching military aircraft, so I have a good grasp of the difference between "slow" and "fast" as well as "small" and "far away") and getting on it is historically shown by black and white records to be not difficult, as well as my own forty years of field experience of birds across several continents giving me wide and relevant experience of birdwatching, which is all this is about. Trying to make out it is a special case is a joke.

John
Right. So no real answer. If it's not a special case, then with what, where, when, and how? Just spell it out. I can-- let's see if we match. You have forty years of field experience with birds.

Where-- where do I go?
When?
What? What cam?
How?
In public. Here.
 

SueO

Well-known member
Hi 400,
I have taken photos of a few big woodpeckers. Two of those were Campephilus. It wasn't difficult, and that is the point some are making. It makes sense that Campephilus would share similar traits. If one had the bird in sight, why couldn't a photo be taken? However, your point that they may not behave as other Campephilus is also understandable. The birds I found and photographed did not have the history of IBWO. These birds were not hunted and collected to extinction (or close to it, as some say). Also, the habitat was entirely different.

On this thread, it has been suggested that I am not a 'real birder' and that not calling someone a liar for lack of proof has no place in science. I'm afraid I'm going to give my detractor(s) some more ammunition: I don't find it impossible that IBWO might not behave the same way as other Campephilus because I believe that birds can change behaviours when needed. I think the parents could instill a fear of humans to their fledglings (and the fledglings do the same). I think it's feasible that IBWO might have become more elusive than other large woodpeckers.

I don't think it's impossible that a few might have stayed hidden for many years; stranger things have happened. There are still large areas of nearly inaccessible habitat. However, there were sincere efforts made to find this bird by very competent people. They checked for nest sites, DNA, they sent out calls, they went to quite a few areas that could have sustained the bird. It was a thorough search. I'm not saying it's impossible that a few birds aren't still out there. I'm not going to call people liars or fakes because they believe they saw one, and I'm not saying you shouldn't go out with your gear. I think it's great you're going to go out and see for yourself. I don't think any understanding of nature can be accomplished from a chair in front of a fire. I'm just saying that, sadly, the bird is probably gone. Still, stranger things have happened, and they sometimes happen because some people had a little hope and, dare I say it,...faith. Good luck.
 

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sillyak

Well-known member
If they do exist, why hasn't there been a single high quality image or video of one? So much effort has been spent looking, well funded effort. All that effort and all we have is a few short, very low quality videos (I haven't seen the Oct 2020 video). The burden of proof is on those who say they have seen it. Give me one clear image, one video where it is completely clear that it is an Ivory Billed and not a Pileated.

The argument from the believers is that the bird is unbelievably wary of humans due to the pressure that humans have placed on them. However, the last confirmed ones in the Singer tract were approachable right until the end. In 1956 William Rhein was able to catch high quality footage of the Imperial Woodpecker from the back of a mule on a mountain trail. At that time the Imperial Woodpecker was under tremendous pressure including being shot on sight, and he was still able to grab undeniable footage from the back of a mule using 1950s video technology. You're telling me with everything we have available in 2021 we can't get one single high quality image, or even audio recording, in a well funded search? With thousands of birders all over with high quality, modern, image stabilized super telephotos we can't get one image?
 

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