Ivory-billed Woodpecker sighting challenged

John Grehan jgrehan at SCIENCEBUFF.ORG
Sun Jul 24 11:37:32 CDT 2005

It's kind of interesting as a microsm of the taxonomic challenge to base all identifications on voucher specimens. In most cases that may not be a necessity, but the current sighting shows how questions can always be raised ( I shudder at receiving regular inquiries about some group we have, asking for collection details without borrowing or bothering to come and verify the specimen identifications themselves. Since we do not have the personnel to comply anyway we just suggest that they either borrow or come and look ).
I have seen the video and I have seen how the markings evidently conformed to the actual pattern as presented by the person taking the video. But then again, the video was fuzzy. It is certainly a sighting that is testable in the sense that anyone can view the video - but further corroboration of this sighting is essential.
John Grehan


From: Taxacom Discussion List on behalf of Ken Kinman
Sent: Fri 7/22/2005 10:42 PM
Subject: [TAXACOM] Ivory-billed Woodpecker sighting challenged

Dear All,
      According to some researchers, the bird in the Arkansas video may be a pileated woodpecker, not an ivory-billed woodpecker.  Are the video images really clear enough to tell for sure?  Should be interesting to read the published article and the rebuttal by those who stand by the ivory-billed identification.  I wonder what the chances are that someone will get a better look at this bird in the very near future?


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