Posted by: atowhee | April 13, 2022


Some field biologists working in a Louisiana forest have come as close as any of us ever will. They know they’ve seen living Ivory-billed Woodpeckers! Click here for report.

Last fall the US government declared the species extinct–click here.

We’ve been through this before. Early this century there were two strongly compelling “sightings”–in Arkansas and Louisiana. Click here for wikipedia summary.

The Ivory-billed had every reason to distrust and flee our species. Our forefathers cut down their forests, and frequently shot the birds for a closer look or toi brag about a big kill.

Alexander Wilson in the 19th Century, saw, shot and depicted this bird. He wrote about them at length in his pioneering ornithology: “This majestic and formidable species, in strength and magnitude, strands at the head of the whole class of Woodpeckers, hitherto discovered. He may be called the king or chief of his tribe; and Nature seems to have designed him a distinguished characteristic in the superb carmine crest and bill of polished ivory…”

“The royal hunter now before us, scorns the humility of such situations [shrubs, orchards, fence posts], and seeks the nmost towering trees of the forest; seeming particularly attached to those prodigious cypress swamps…in these almost inaccessible recesses, amid ruinous piles of impending timber, his trumpet-like note and loud strikes resound through the solitary savage wilds, of which he seems the sole lord and inhabitant.”
That was written more than two hundred years ago. Wilson knew the bird well. Many of its forests were still standing. Wilson once tied an wounded ivory-bill to furniture in his hotel room. The bird chiseled apart some of the window pane and furniture while Wilson had dinner downstairs.


  1. This is shocking and wonderful.

  2. […] of scientists released a report that they believed they had found IBWs alive in a Louisiana forest. Click here for summary of that. Click here for National Aviary’s […]

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