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Ivorybill Hunters

Author: Geoffrey E. Hill
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190295856
Size: 38.26 MB
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The last documented sighting of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker--one of the rarest and most intriguing animals in the world--was noted over 50 years ago. Long thought to be extinct, the 2005 announcement of a sighting in Arkansas sparked tremendous enthusiasm and hope that this species could yet be saved. But the subsequent failure of a massive search to relocate Ivorybills in Arkansas made hope for the species' revival short-lived. Here, noted ornithologist Geoffrey Hill tells the story of how he and two of his colleagues stumbled upon what may be a breeding population of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers in the swamps of northern Florida. He relates their laborious attempts to document irrefutable evidence for the existence of this shy, elusive bird following the failure of a much larger research team to definitively prove the bird's existence. Hill tells of his travails both in and out of the vast swamp wilderness, pulling back the curtain to reveal the little-seen political maneuvering that is part of all modern science. He explains how he and his group decided who to exclude or include as their findings came in, and why they felt the need to keep their search a secret. Hill returns repeatedly to how expectations can guide observations, and how tempting it is to oversell evidence in the face of the struggle between an overwhelming desire to find the bird and the need to retain integrity and objectivity. Written like a good detective story, Ivorybill Hunters also delves into the science behind the rediscovery of a species, explaining how professional ornithologists follow up on a sight record of a rare bird, and how this differs from the public's perception of how scientists actually work. Hill notes the growing role of amateurs in documenting bird activity and discusses how the community of birders and nature lovers can see, enjoy, and help preserve these birds. Ivorybill Hunters will prove a fascinating read for those with an interest in natural history, adventure, environmental conservation, and science, as well as the more than forty-six million Americans who now call themselves birdwatchers.

Stalking The Ghost Bird

Author: Michael K. Steinberg
Publisher: LSU Press
ISBN: 0807148660
Size: 19.85 MB
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When a kayaker thought he spotted an ivory-billed woodpecker in 2004, the birding community took notice. Two birders traveled to the bayou where the sighting occurred, well aware that the last confirmed sighting of an ivory-bill had taken place over sixty years ago. Both men caught a glimpse of the bird, and a team began to search the surrounding swamplands. Even after long hours of surveillance and multiple sightings, the scientists cautiously refused to disclose their rediscovery of the extinct bird until they captured it on film. At last, armed with a short video and sound clip, they published their findings in Science, triggering a frenzy of media coverage and sparking a controversy among birders and scientists who continue to disagree about whether the bird really still exists. In Stalking the Ghost Bird, Michael K. Steinberg engages the lengthy debate over the ivory-bill's status by examining the reported sightings and extensive efforts to find the rare bird in Louisiana. Louisiana has long been at the center of the ivory-bill's story. John James Audubon wrote about the bird and its habitat during his stay in St. Francisville, and scientists James Tanner and George Lowery studied the ivory-bill in Louisiana in the 1930s and 1940s. More recently, bird experts have conducted targeted searches in Louisiana. Steinberg discusses these and other scientific expeditions, and he catalogs reported ivory-bill sightings since the 1950s, using a detailed timeline that includes both dates and specific locations. Interviews with conservation officials, ornithologists, and native Louisianans illuminate the ongoing controversy and explore why the ivory-bill, more than any other bird, arouses so much attention. Steinberg meets elderly residents of the Atchafalaya Basin who saw the ivory-bill while hunting in the 1930s and even ate the bird-which they called the "forest turkey"-during hard times. He paddles into Two O'Clock Bayou with one wildlife professor and travels to a cypress-filled wildlife refuge with the director of Louisiana's Nature Conservancy. His interviews illustrate how expert opinions vary, as well as how much local non-experts know. Steinberg also explores in detail the human impact on both the ivory-bill and its bottomland forest habitat, explains how forest-management practices in the South may pose problems for an ivory-bill recovery, and outlines where future searches for the bird should take place. In this absorbing study, Steinberg turns his lifelong interest in the majestic ivory-billed woodpecker into a tale that encapsulates both the mystery and intrigue surrounding the legendary bird and our fascination with it.

Imperial Dreams

Author: Tim Gallagher
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1439191530
Size: 48.44 MB
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Explorer and naturalist Tim Gallagher is obsessed with rare birds. A decade ago, Gallagher was one of the rediscoverers of the legendary ivory-billed woodpecker, which most scientists believed had been extinct for more than half a century—an event that caused an international stir. Now, in Imperial Dreams, Gallagher once again hits the trail, journeying deep into Mexico’s savagely beautiful Sierra Madre Occidental, home to rich wildlife, as well as to Mexican drug cartels, in a perilous quest to locate the most elusive bird in the world—the imperial woodpecker, a giant among its clan. The imperial woodpecker’s trumpetlike calls and distinctive hammering on massive pines once echoed through the high forests. Two feet tall, with deep black plumage, a brilliant snow-white shield on its back, and a crimson crest, the imperial woodpecker had largely disappeared fifty years ago, though reports persist of the bird still flying through remote mountain stands. In an attempt to find and protect the imperial woodpecker in its last habitat, Gallagher is guided by a map of sightings of this natural treasure of the Sierra Madre, bestowed on him by a friend on his deathbed. Charged with continuing the quest of a line of distinguished naturalists, including the great Aldo Leopold, Gallagher treks through this mysterious, historically untamed and untamable territory. Here, where an ancient petroglyph of the imperial can still be found, Geronimo led Apaches in their last stand, William Randolph Hearst held a storied million-acre ranch, and Pancho Villa once roamed, today ruthless drug lords terrorize residents and steal and strip the land. Gallagher’s passionate quest takes a harrowing turn as he encounters armed drug traffickers, burning houses, and fleeing villagers. His mission becomes a life-and-death drama that will keep armchair adventurers enthralled as he chases truth in the most dangerous of habitats.

Ghost Birds

Author: Stephen Lyn Bales
Publisher: Univ. of Tennessee Press
ISBN: 1572337176
Size: 46.15 MB
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"Before he died in 1991, Jim Tanner himself had come to believe that the majestic woodpeckers were probably gone forever, but he remained hopeful that someone would prove him wrong. This book fully captures Tanner's determined spirit as he tracked down what was then, as now, one of ornithology's true Holy Grails."--BOOK JACKET.

Imagining Extinction

Author: Ursula K. Heise
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022635833X
Size: 57.43 MB
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We are currently facing the sixth mass extinction of species in the history of life on Earth, biologists claim—the first one caused by humans. Activists, filmmakers, writers, and artists are seeking to bring the crisis to the public’s attention through stories and images that use the strategies of elegy, tragedy, epic, and even comedy. Imagining Extinction is the first book to examine the cultural frameworks shaping these narratives and images. Ursula K. Heise argues that understanding these stories and symbols is indispensable for any effective advocacy on behalf of endangered species. More than that, she shows how biodiversity conservation, even and especially in its scientific and legal dimensions, is shaped by cultural assumptions about what is valuable in nature and what is not. These assumptions are hardwired into even seemingly neutral tools such as biodiversity databases and laws for the protection of endangered species. Heise shows that the conflicts and convergences of biodiversity conservation with animal welfare advocacy, environmental justice, and discussions about the Anthropocene open up a new vision of multispecies justice. Ultimately, Imagining Extinction demonstrates that biodiversity, endangered species, and extinction are not only scientific questions but issues of histories, cultures, and values.

In Search Of The Ivory Billed Woodpecker

Author: Jerome A. Jackson
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780060891558
Size: 59.90 MB
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In Search of the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker is a complete natural history of one of the most exciting and rare birds in the world. Noted ornithologist Jerome A. Jackson takes the reader on his fantastic and personal quest, providing detailed insights into the bird's lifestyle, habitat, and cultural significance, examining its iconic status from the late 1800s to the present in advertising, conservation, and lore. As he relates searches for the bird by John James Audubon, Alexander Wilson, and others, Jackson offers anecdotal tales illuminating the methods of early naturalists, including how one captive ivory-bill destroyed a naturalist's hotel room in a desperate attempt to escape. Jackson's search for one of the few remaining ivory-bills takes him across the United States and into Cuba. A new epilogue disputes the putative rediscovery of the bird in April 2005.

Hope Is The Thing With Feathers

Author: Christopher Cokinos
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781585427222
Size: 71.63 MB
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Presents the histories of six extinct North American birds, how they were killed, and who attempted to protect them, and discusses what can be learned from these losses to save today's endangered wildlife.

The Ivory Billed Woodpecker

Author: James T. Tanner
Publisher: Courier Corporation
ISBN: 0486148750
Size: 76.34 MB
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All who seek this elusive bird rely on this 1942 profile of the species' characteristics and habits including its original distribution patterns; history of its disappearance; feeding, nesting, breeding habits. 20 halftones, 17 tables, 22 other illustrations.

A Red Bird In A Brown Bag

Author: Geoffrey Edward Hill
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 9780195148480
Size: 34.11 MB
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He concludes with an examination of the processes by which carotenoid-based ornamental coloration may have evolved. Through it all, Hill provides a personal view of the triumphs and hardships of field biology in the suburbs."--BOOK JACKET.