Ivory-billed Woodpecker sighting! (Oklahoma, Sept. 4, 1820)

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TeeJay
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Ivory-billed Woodpecker sighting! (Oklahoma, Sept. 4, 1820)

Post by TeeJay » November 30th, 2013, 9:08 am

I just finished reading 'An account of an expedition from Pittsburgh to the Rocky Mountains' (The Stephen H. Long Expedition of 1819-1820) On their way down the Canadian River near present day Calvin, Oklahoma, they recorded this:

"We listened, as we rode forward, to the note of a bird, new to some of us, and hearing a singular resemblance to the noise of a child's trumpet. This we soon learned to be the cry of the great ivory-billed woodpecker, (Picus principalis) the largest of the North American species, and confined to the warmer parts. The P. pileatus we had seen on the 28th August, more than one hundred miles above, and this, with the P. erythrocephalus, were now common. Turkies were very numerous. The paroquet, chuck-wills-widow, wood robin, mocking bird, and many other small birds, filled the woods with life and music."

And of course, now I can't find the map with the exact locations they stayed for each date recorded, but as close as I can see when I compared the old map with GoogleEarth, they saw the bird on the north side of the river. I'll post the map as soon as I can find it again.

Anyway... Thought this was pretty cool. And I just looked at the original distribution maps for the Ivory-billed and this would put the location at the very NW edge of the historic range.

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Andy Avram
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Re: Ivory-billed Woodpecker sighting! (Oklahoma, Sept. 4, 18

Post by Andy Avram » December 1st, 2013, 11:20 am

I love reading those old accounts. You have another one in there too - Paroquet is Parakeet as in Carolina Parakeet. How cool would it be if we still could see native parrots in the US!

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Re: Ivory-billed Woodpecker sighting! (Oklahoma, Sept. 4, 18

Post by chrish » December 3rd, 2013, 10:44 am

Andy Avram wrote:You have another one in there too - Paroquet is Parakeet as in Carolina Parakeet. How cool would it be if we still could see native parrots in the US!
You can....maybe? There are some questions about the Green Parakeets in the Lower Rio Grande Valley as to whether they are native or not. They've been there a long time and they are pretty common south of the river once you get into habitat that hasn't been completely denuded. It isn't too hard to imagine them as an isolated relictual population from a time when they were contiguous from South Texas down into tropical eastern Mexico.
Some people think the same thing about Red-crowned Parrots in the valley.

But Carolina Parakeet would trump those any day since it wouldn't just be native, it would be endemic to the US.

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Re: Ivory-billed Woodpecker sighting! (Oklahoma, Sept. 4, 18

Post by Andy Avram » December 3rd, 2013, 1:02 pm

Yeah, when I was in the valley a few years ago I never made an effort to see either of those species as I had read they were released. It wasn't until after getting home I read that they may be made up of wild and introduced birds. I should have went for them.

But, I was thinking more along the lines of a widespread native species, especially in eastern hardwood forests - just doesn't seem right.

Andy

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Re: Ivory-billed Woodpecker sighting! (Oklahoma, Sept. 4, 18

Post by J-Miz » December 3rd, 2013, 2:49 pm

Agreed...how cool would that have been to see Carolina Parakeets in the eastern U.S.! But let's not forget about the more recent loss of native Psittacidae: Thick-billed Parrot (southeast AZ). I always seem to forget about those.

But back to the Ivory-billed Woodpeckers...what the heck is the deal with these guys? It was like ten years ago that I found out they had been rediscovered, and NADA since. Is information regarding the Ivory-billed being kept hush-hush? Or is it suddenly extinct again :?:

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Re: Ivory-billed Woodpecker sighting! (Oklahoma, Sept. 4, 18

Post by Andy Avram » December 3rd, 2013, 3:01 pm

Jared, I may be wrong, but from what I understood is that Thick-billed Parrots were only non-breeding visitors to the US and all their breeding took place in Mexico. Maybe why the 1980's (re)introduction never took off.

As for the Ivory-billed. I don't think there has ever been conclusive proof of them and I think even the 2004 data have been heavily questioned. Truthfully, I am not sure on what side of the fence I fall, but if lived in their potential range I probably would spend some time looking.

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Re: Ivory-billed Woodpecker sighting! (Oklahoma, Sept. 4, 18

Post by J-Miz » December 3rd, 2013, 7:14 pm

Hmmm...I thought it was the other way around (breeding in Arizona and northern Mexico, wintering solely in Mexico). I think heavy predation by raptors was a big reason they couldn't be successfully established in Arizona.

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Re: Ivory-billed Woodpecker sighting! (Oklahoma, Sept. 4, 18

Post by Andy Avram » December 4th, 2013, 5:49 am

J-Miz wrote:Hmmm...I thought it was the other way around (breeding in Arizona and northern Mexico, wintering solely in Mexico). I think heavy predation by raptors was a big reason they couldn't be successfully established in Arizona.
http://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/arizona ... -15-12.pdf

Page 17 (of the report, not the PDF) gives the background on them. No confirmed breeding in the US, but suspected.

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Re: Ivory-billed Woodpecker sighting! (Oklahoma, Sept. 4, 18

Post by chrish » December 5th, 2013, 6:03 am

J-Miz wrote:But back to the Ivory-billed Woodpeckers...what the heck is the deal with these guys? It was like ten years ago that I found out they had been rediscovered, and NADA since. Is information regarding the Ivory-billed being kept hush-hush? Or is it suddenly extinct again :?:
From what I know the "evidence" that they weren't extinct was a little weak (I assume you've seen the video). Extensive searching, camera trapping, and recording stations have failed to produce any more records as far as I know.
Other putative "populations" have been searched for in South Carolina, Louisiana, Texas, Florida, etc., and they also had some questionable records. I would think if there was any substantiation of the rediscovery it would have been documented where others could see it.

There is a dated, but good discussion here - http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2006/ ... white-text
but the believers hold on...http://ivorybills.blogspot.com/ and http://www.ibwo.org/index.php

I see this much like the much heralded announcement of the "discovery" of "Life" on Mars. The original announcement made front page news all over the world. The subsequent analysis which showed that this information was "sketchy at best" gets buried in the scientific literature and the general public still believes we discovered "life on mars". Its hard to put the genie back in the bottle, particularly when you don't want to.

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Re: Ivory-billed Woodpecker sighting! (Oklahoma, Sept. 4, 18

Post by cbernz » December 18th, 2013, 7:58 am

I would give almost anything to go back in time and cross the country in 1820, provided I could take a few modern innovations along (such as penicillin and some decent flashlights). Who knows what other species may have been out there that never even got described.

To say the evidence of Ivory-billeds still being around is "a little weak" is a very tactful understatement. It seems to hinge on a distant flight video that's blurry even by Bigfoot and flying saucer footage standards, and people who have never seen an Ivory-bill asserting that the flap-rate of the bird in question could only be acheived by an Ivory-bill. The reason you haven't been hearing a lot of news about it outside forums is that Cornell made a big deal about "rediscovering" the Ivory-bill, and now that the discovery has been widely debunked, they aren't too eager to have to publicly eat a big plate of Ivory-billed crow.

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