You're right that some on Birdforum, for more than a decade, say that since other Campephilus are easy to image, IBs must be. That is obviously a logic mistake. You're right that hunting pressure selected for the more wary birds (proven in other species), and I would add that this can happen quickly. And, the habitat is different. For example, imagine trying to image your birds at 100 meters, in dense woods. And imagine not knowing where they were within tens of thousands of acres.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.
If someone writes to you and that's one of the first thing they say, "not a real birder," that's the best they can do possibly and unfortunately it sometimes takes decades or more to learn to be better.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.
There were sincere efforts. And they all got some evidence. Here is part of a USFW letter I recently sent--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.
"Since the year 2000, eight expeditions that have searched for the Ivory-Bill have had encounters. These were by professionals with advanced degrees, and professional organizations. They have obtained documentation. Critics of the documentation and evidence have taken the stance of being cautionary (as they should be) but NOT dismissive. Close study of the evidence shows that the criticisms have been addressed.
Cornell Ornithological Lab—sightings and audio evidence with some audio sonogram matching to known IB kents
David Luneau—encounter with video that shows IB field marks
Auburn University—sightings and video with analysis that shows IB field marks. Extensive audio of double-knocks and kent sonograms that match IB
Mike Collins—sightings and three separate videos with morphometric analysis that show IB field marks. Audio analysis of kent sonograms and double knocks that match IB. Math-based evidence published in peer-reviewed journals
Bobby Harrison—video of bird with field marks matching IB
National Biodiversity Parks—multiple encounters with extensive datasets
Project Coyote—sightings and multiple still images of birds that match IB. Guy Luneau math analysis of image. Kent sonograms that match IB. This group is now called Project Principalis, and closely affiliated with the National Aviary in Pittsburgh PA.
Mission Ivorybill—most recent sightings of bird. Planning new search methods which are more in line with still-hunting. New camera systems are being developed, building on the idea that seven of the last putative IB images are from video, but with poor resolution.
These are EIGHT separate efforts, and in EIGHT different locations, that have found evidence for the bird since 2000. The most recent was a visual sighting this year."
And in case you have not seen this, and because it's really Mike Collins's thread, here is what I consider the best evidence, especially at the 33 minute mark and after--