Wanted alive the extinct Ivory-Billed Woodpecker

Finding a very rare bird in the swamps of Arkansas and Northern Florida swamps is like looking for a needle in the old haystack. Plus the search teams will only be searching one day a week in the winter.

The hunt for the extinct Ivory-Billed Woodpecker begins anew. On May 28, 2008, file photo, a sign asking patrons of the Dagmar Wildlife Management Area to be on the look out for this bird began.
Last year, Allan Mueller of Little Rock Ark.thought he saw the elusive bird and wants to make confirm his sighting this winter.

Mueller and his teams will head back into the swamps of eastern Arkansas with a search team of 26 volunteers and three expert field biologists.
Searchers will begin their work in the Big Woods this Saturday. The campaign will run through the bird’s nesting season in March and April when the ivory-bill is most active.
Although three previous searches involved more volunteers, more scientists and more time in the woods, Mueller feels confident he and his team will get results.

The huge bird was believed to be extinct until a sighting four years ago stirred national experts and federal funding to launch a full-blown campaign to verify the bird’s existence and study its habitat.

Other biologists find it hard to believe the bird has survived years of land development and loss of habitat.
Over the last four years, The Nature Conservancy in Arkansas, where Mueller is avian conservation manager, along with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the Arkansas Audubon Society have collaborated to study the ivory-bill in Arkansas and enlist other groups to scout potential habitats in other Southern states.
Besides Arkansas, researchers say the bird has been seen and heard in the swamps of northwestern Florida. A Cornell team will soon begin looking in Florida and travel to Arkansas and elsewhere in the Southeast in hopes of spotting the bird.
Mueller reminds fishermen, hunters and the general public that they can help, too, by calling his office if they have a sighting. An anonymous donor has pledged a $50,000 reward to anyone who leads the team to a live ivory-bill, he said.
The Big Woods swallow up the Cache River National Wildlife Refuge, where kayaker Gene Sparling says he spotted the bird Feb. 11, 2004, and Cornell University experts made subsequent sightings. Since then, searches have been made in about 83,000 of the 550,000-acre woods.

Searchers will spend at least six hours a day in the woods, including sunrise or sunset, when the bird is most active. They will look for nest holes and for signs of a fresh feeding. Once they identify these, the group will fix a remote camera on them.

Knock Knock are you here? or there?
Besides the remote camera each team will use a double-knocker to attract the woodpecker. The wooden box is strapped to a tree and hit with hinged wooden dowels to replicate the sound the bird makes with its bill. A CD player will also be used to broadcast the bird’s distinctive call and attract the bird.

Have you seen me ? ivory-billed-woodpecker-resized

The Ivory-billed has a total length of 20 inches (50 centimeters) and weighs 20 ounces (570 grams). It has a 30 inch (75 centimeters) wing span. The bird is shiny blue-black with white markings on its neck and back and extensive white on the trailing edge of both the upper- and underwing. The underwing is also white along its forward edge, resulting in a black line running along the middle of the underwing, expanding to more extensive black at the wingtip. In adults, the bill is ivory in color, chalky white in juveniles. Ivory-bills have a prominent crest, although in juveniles it is ragged. The crest is black in juveniles and females. In males, the crest is black along its forward edge, changing abruptly to red on the side and rear. The chin of an ivory-bill is black. When perched with the wings folded, ivory-bills of both sexes present a large patch of white on the lower back, roughly triangular in shape.

Please contac

The Nature Conservancy: http://www.nature.org/ivorybill/about

Search for ivory-billed woodpecker to begin anew

– PEGGY HARRIS, AP Dec 2, 2008.
The Nature Conservancy: http://www.nature.org/ivorybill/about
Image courtesy of http://www.fws.gov/verobeach/images/programs/ivory-billed%20woodpecker-resized.jpg



  1. A.j. said,

    December 11, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    go look back in my older photos from maybe a month or two ago, I might have had one of those…
    I live in Florida

  2. December 11, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    Please send me the image with your description of the sighting to post and send alone to Nature Conservancy.
    Mother Nature

  3. October 6, 2009 at 12:08 am

    […] The photo of the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker appears on Nature’s Crusaders:  https://naturescrusaders.wordpress.com […]

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