Florida’s Ivory-Bills Photographed

Posted by: Loren Coleman on September 6th, 2007

Ivory-Billed Woodpecker

Geoffrey Hill, Scharnagel Professor of Biology at Auburn University and author of Ivorybill Hunters: The Search for Proof in the Florida Panhandle told reporter Donathan Prater of the Opelika Auburn News that he has obtained three types of evidence of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers (Campephilus principalis): audio, video, and photographic.

After getting a small grant, Hill and several of his colleagues traveled to the Florida Panhandle in January 2007. There, they set up listening stations and remote cameras, and indeed, did record the distinctive double-knocking sound and Kent calls the Ivory-billed Woodpecker makes. While in Florida, Hill and his colleagues were able to record both photo and video of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers.

Hill and a team of ornithologists from Auburn University and the University of Windsor have also published a paper detailing the evidence they’ve found supporting the existence of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers along the Choctawhatchee River in Florida.

The Ivory-bill is the largest species of woodpecker in the U.S. and one of the two largest species of woodpecker in the world, second in size only to the Imperial Woodpecker of Mexico. This is a bird endemic to the most remote swamp/ wilderness areas of the South….

Sadly, this is a bird we almost let slip away. The first catastrophe for this bird was the loss of habitat with the clearing of vast Cypress forests in the South toward the end of the 19th and onset of the 20th centuries.

As the bird became rarer and rarer, the more prized a specimen became in personal collections.

Hill’s pursuit of better photographic evidence continues:

We just haven’t gotten a really good break yet in getting photos of this bird, but it does exist. I believe this is the sunrise on a new age of Ivory-bills, and once they’re proven to exist, we can go about preserving the habitat they live in.Professor Geoffrey Hill

Source: “Professor makes case for existence of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers,” Opelika Auburn News, September 6, 2007.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

16 Responses to “Florida’s Ivory-Bills Photographed”

  1. Daryl Colyer responds:

    Professor Hill, my hat’s off to you. Thanks to you and your colleagues for your work, in the face of debunkers and so-called skeptics. Keep it up.

    And thank God that it’s still not too late for this magnificent species.

  2. dogu4 responds:

    And when will the evidence be made public?

  3. sschaper responds:

    Excellent news!

    Might this mean at least two populations surviving?

  4. Alton Higgins responds:

    If memory serves, I don’t recall suggestions to the effect that anything other than a lone male was ever observed in Arkansas.

  5. Ceroill responds:

    Excellent. Good going.

  6. shumway10973 responds:

    Well done, ol’ boy! Let’s get the proof out there so that someone can get that plot of land protected to the max.

  7. cutrer responds:

    War Eagle!

  8. planettom responds:

    This is tremendous news! I knew this day would come. Exciting! Can’t wait to view the evidence.

  9. joe levit responds:

    I know this is a bird, and one that has been known before, but I find it interesting nonetheless that comments such as this would be taken seriously by many colleagues, yet a similar statement about bigfoot is seen as a pathetic dream.

    We just haven’t gotten a really good break yet in getting photos of this bird, but it does exist. I believe this is the sunrise on a new age of Ivory-bills, and once they’re proven to exist, we can go about preserving the habitat they live in.Professor Geoffrey Hill

    Picture this: We just haven’t gotten a really good break yet in getting photos of this hominid/pongid, but it does exist. I believ this is the sunrise on a new age of sasquatch, and once they’re proven to exist, we can go about preserving the habitat they live in.

  10. corrick responds:

    Don’t mean to rain on the parade, but haven’t we heard this same thing two years ago out of Arkansas? Where the supposedly slam-dunk video has largely been met with skepticism by top American ornithologists after viewing and examining the footage.

    As such, I am very concerned by this Geoffrey Hill quote, “We just haven’t gotten a really good break yet in getting photos of this bird, but it does exist.” Unfortunately, it sounds like just more debatable photographic evidence. I hope not.

    Understand, I have a framed reproduction of Audubon’s Ivory-billed Woodpecker hanging in my house. I’d love for everything Hill states to be proven correct.

    But I’m not holding my breath.

  11. Valen responds:

    I’m right there with you corrick. No one would be happier than me to concrete evidence that the IBW is still out there. I believe it is, but still, we have to convince the skeptics.

    And Joe, there are many people out there that treat the sightings of ivory-bills the same way skeptics treat the reports of bigfoot and other cryptids. Some blogs are down right nasty and ridicule people who claim an IBW sighting. So Joe, not everyone treats the reports as factual.

  12. YourPTR! responds:

    Very encouraging news! Great to hear more evidence for the Ivory Woodpecker’s continuing existance has been gathererd and I look forward to the day the evidence reaches the standard required for proof so their habitat can be further protected. 🙂

  13. ht3 responds:

    I find it hard to believe that well educated people believe that some things go extinct. Animals don’t follow the same rules as humans,if the habitat is destroyed
    they move on to new habitat where they can live unmolested by our interference.

  14. Ceroill responds:

    Well, the accepted wisdom about this bird in particular was that it had/has such specialized needs that it could/can only live in a very limited range of environments. Therefore, if that kind of environment was being reduced at the same time as sightings of the critter seemed to have stopped for decades, they made the assumption that the species itself was gone. Many people still maintained hope, however, that this assumption was wrong, and that it may have been hanging on in some previously unacknowledged corner, which indeed seems to possibly be the case.

  15. dogu4 responds:

    Funny that this topic from last year should be reactivated now that spring has sprung all over. Haven’t heard anything yet from the past winter’s search and so I wonder if news is being withheld for some calendared presentation event or if there is simply no news., but the question about specialized needs leaves me wondering if concluding that isn’t more a result of our limited understanding, observation and interpretation using modern perspectives since it would have essentially vanished before modern techniques could come to bear. I’ve read that in some instances the IBW had been seen eating crawfish out of muddy banks whether from a scarcity of its preferred beetle grub or some other anecdotal or altogether apocryphal reason, that wasn’t answered, along with quite a lot of just plain “i don’t know”.
    It’s more than a little ironic that the habitat that would have served ideally as a refuge is just now entering a stage of maturity after years of commercial harvest and “slow-to-be-realized” protection. Keepin’ my fingers crossed at any rate.

  16. Ceroill responds:

    dogu, I agree pretty much. This kind of thing shows us how incomplete our knowledge of the natural world still is, and how premature it can be to make grand pronouncements about any species.

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

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