Print

Print


 From the reports I've read on the Cornell Ivory-bill website  
http://www.birds.cornell.edu/ivory/volunteer.html

Larry and I expect to be doing both.  As to daily updates--well, 
internet access on the Cache is well...not.

We're rearing to go.  Larry just showed at the door--think I'll entice 
him to Eagle Bluffs.

Edge Wade
Columbia, MO
[log in to unmask]
On Friday, March 24, 2006, at 09:52 PM, Jill DeWitt wrote:

> So now I'm really curious. Will you be doing swamp duty or 
> cherry-picker duty, Edge?
> And will we (list-servees) get an exclusive, day-by-day report on the 
> IBWO search?!
>
> Jill DeWitt
> Kansas City, MO
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Sherry McCowan" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Friday, March 24, 2006 8:39 PM
> Subject: Re: more interesting woodpecker stuff
>
>
>> The e-mail from Alvaro Jaramillo is one of a number on this subject  
>> on birdingonthe.net.  Here's a link to the frontiers of  
>> identification page where the discussion can be found:
>>
>> http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/FRID.html#1143242606
>>
>> **********************
>> Sherry McCowan
>> Saint Louis, Missouri
>> [log in to unmask]
>>
>>
>> On Mar 24, 2006, at 8:16 PM, Chris Hobbs wrote:
>>
>>> If you're not interested in more Ivory-billed discussion, delete 
>>> now!Birders
>>>
>>>  I have been away and just caught up with the woodpecker thread.  
>>> Maybe this
>>> is not too helpful as it does not have anything to do directly with  
>>> the
>>> identification of IB Woodpecker. It is also long, tangential to the
>>> discussion and offers no conclusion to this, but a different  
>>> perspective on
>>> finding Campephilus woodpeckers. In any case, of the species  
>>> Campephilus we
>>> have the Ivory-bill and Imperial which are clearly closely related,  
>>> the
>>> tropical Campephilus, and the Magellanic Woodpecker. The latter is  a 
>>> bird
>>> that in many ways is a good model for understanding the behavior of  
>>> the
>>> Ivory-billed. I don't think it is a stretch to think that the  sister 
>>> species
>>> to Ivory-billed/Imperial is likely to be the Magellanic, rather  than 
>>> the
>>> tropical species. The three share some plumage and morphological 
>>> features
>>> (white on tertials, no red on crest of females, black and unbarred  
>>> body
>>> plumage, large size, tendency for females to have longer crests  
>>> etc.) From a
>>> habitat standpoint the Magellanic Woodpecker is found in temperate 
>>> forests,
>>> not tropical ones, and it needs very old or old growth forests, it  
>>> does not
>>> take young forests, at least not commonly. Well, Magellanic  
>>> Woodpeckers are
>>> birds I know pretty well from my time birding in Chile, I probably  
>>> have seen
>>> over 50 but under 100 at this point. Just to "put it out there"  here 
>>> is a
>>> summary of my experience with the Magellanic, and some comments on 
>>> looking
>>> for the Ivory-billed.
>>> Magellanic Woodpeckers are not rare, but neither are they common.
>>> You can spend days in their preferred habitat and not see one, or  
>>> hear one,
>>> but in many bird tours to Chile I have yet to miss this species on  a 
>>> trip
>>> (knock on wood). I do often sweat it looking for this species, it 
>>> certainly
>>> can be a difficult bird to see given that it is a showy and large
>>> woodpecker. In size Magellanic is smaller than an Ivory-billed, and  
>>> not as
>>> showy in plumage. The habitat I find it in is old growth Nothofagus
>>> (southern beech) forest, or Araucaria (monkey puzzle) forest. The 
>>> structure
>>> of these forests if of huge, tall old trees, draped in moss and  
>>> lichen on
>>> the slopes of the Andes. You are generally restricted to searching  
>>> areas
>>> near roads or park trails, so a really different situation than I 
>>> imagine
>>> from Arkansas. But the similarities are that these forests are 
>>> temperate, in
>>> early spring (when I am there) the forests are actually rather  quiet 
>>> due to
>>> the low diversity of avifauna specifically found there and they are  
>>> away
>>> from highways or other noisy distractions. Unlike the Arkansas  
>>> forests, much
>>> of the Nothofagus retain leaves year-round, as does the Araucaria,  
>>> so you
>>> have more complex viewing conditions than in Arkansas. Most often I  
>>> find
>>> Magellanic Woodpeckers by chance, I just happen to catch a glimpse  
>>> and see
>>> the bird, or they happen to fly over and we track down where they 
>>> landed.
>>> Seldom do I actually hear the birds, either the vocalizations or  the 
>>> double
>>> rap. On one occasion in late October at one site I could hear many 
>>> double
>>> raps going off early in the morning, but this stands out as unusual as
>>> usually you don't hear them at all. They will often call, or give  
>>> double
>>> raps in response to tape playback. Often once found the woodpeckers  
>>> will
>>> stay on a tree or set of trees for some time, foraging, flaking  bark 
>>> and
>>> being rather quiet in their tapping as opposed to birds like  
>>> Pileateds which
>>> can be pretty noisy while they forage. On many occasions, once the  
>>> birds are
>>> done at a tree they move off by flying long distances to other feeding
>>> areas. When I am looking for them, I often use tape playback using  
>>> both
>>> calls and double raps, and this works. However, it does not work in  
>>> the way
>>> that it does with highly responsive species like flycatchers or  
>>> various
>>> other territorial passerines which come directly to the sound. The
>>> Magellanics seldom come right in. Instead, they often fly over,  
>>> higher than
>>> canopy level, and just do a fly by. Eventually the fly overs end  and 
>>> the
>>> bird may come in within a few hundred yards and will be alert, but  
>>> may start
>>> feeding quietly while keeping an eye on you. After a while of  
>>> hearing no
>>> tape playback the birds often get their confidence up and may do a 
>>> double
>>> rap or call. So playback does not get the birds to come right in,  
>>> but it
>>> works very well if you know what to be looking for (high fly overs, or
>>> vocalizations many minutes post playback). When you find a Magellanic
>>> feeding, or bring one in using playback this quiet and seemingly 
>>> reclusive
>>> bird turns out to be rather tame (as most forest woodpeckers tend  to 
>>> be!) If
>>> the birds are feeding low down, you can approach to distances a  
>>> flicker
>>> would never allow. I have not read the historical accounts of Ivory- 
>>> billed
>>> Woodpecker, but my sense was that they were also pretty tame. I  
>>> don't buy
>>> the hypothesis that collection pressure has selected for extreme 
>>> waryness,
>>> mainly since hunting pressure has been low for a good amount of  time 
>>> now,
>>> and if this idea was generally true most ducks would be amazingly  
>>> wary given
>>> intense hunting pressure they are under, but they are not. Magellanic
>>> Woodpeckers are often found as pairs, but in spring you also  
>>> sometimes find
>>> them in trios. Invariably the third bird appears to be a young  male, 
>>> I have
>>> the hypothesis that this male is a nest helper and I don't know if  
>>> this is
>>> something that has been researched. Of course, single birds also  are 
>>> found.
>>> Pairs tend to react more strongly to playback and have a greater 
>>> tendency to
>>> double rap in response to playback than single birds.
>>> To put this all into perspective, Magellanics are quiet, birds found
>>> in low densities in tall temperate forest. They stay in foraging  
>>> areas for
>>> periods of time, then do long flights to new foraging areas.  
>>> Foraging is
>>> quiet, tapping is more akin to what you hear from three-toed  
>>> woodpeckers
>>> than from Pileated. They are tough to find, but once detected these
>>> woodpeckers tend to be pretty tame and easy to see. I try to  imagine 
>>> what it
>>> would be like to find a pair or two of Magellanics in a large  forest 
>>> if that
>>> was all there was (a hypothetical situation similar to the Arkansas 
>>> case). I
>>> think that the quiet nature would generally make them very  difficult 
>>> to
>>> find, but on the other hand the tendency to fly over the canopy,  not 
>>> through
>>> the canopy, to get to new foraging areas and the large home ranges  
>>> would
>>> actually make them much easier to find that you would think. Most  
>>> times I
>>> see Magellanics flying over, and then follow them to the foraging  
>>> area. Once
>>> found though, they are not shy, but are tame. The fact that when 
>>> foraging
>>> they sit for long periods of time pecking and flaking bark adds to the
>>> difficulty of finding them as they are not hyper-kinetic creatures,  
>>> but on
>>> the other hand once found you get good looks. Playback works on 
>>> Magellanic
>>> Woodpeckers, and from my experience leading birding tours  throughout 
>>> the
>>> Americas works pretty much on all woodpeckers. If there are Ivory- 
>>> bills in
>>> Arkansas, they will come in to playback eventually!
>>> Using Magellanics as a model for temperate Campephilus behavior, I
>>> am sure that a single bird or a pair or two in a large forest would be
>>> found. I realize that this model may be entirely flawed, but it's  
>>> the best I
>>> can do to assess the Arkansas situation. There is very little 
>>> probability
>>> that a hypothetical single or pair of Magellanics could evade 2  
>>> years of
>>> searching, particularly by experienced birders as the Ivory-billed  
>>> as done.
>>> I assume that the searchers are using playback, if Ivory-billed is in
>>> Arkansas it will eventually come in to playback - this is just what
>>> woodpeckers do. If they are not using playback, particularly when  
>>> the leads
>>> were hot early on in this, I would wonder why. I want to be a  
>>> believer, but
>>> my familiarity with other Neotropical Campephilus, and my general 
>>> experience
>>> making a living finding birds for people leads me to believe that  
>>> all birds
>>> are findable given enough time. Two years is a long time. I realize  
>>> that
>>> there have been various sight records, potential recordings and the 
>>> infamous
>>> video, but if a single Magellanic was out there in a large forest I  
>>> am sure
>>> that after two years someone would have a good photo of it.
>>> I do think that given the potential for having Ivory-billed in
>>> Arkansas, the money used to buy up those forests was wisely spent.  I 
>>> also
>>> think that Cornell and the Nature Conservancy have worked the media  
>>> well in
>>> this case and have gotten a lot of people who have never thought  
>>> much about
>>> birds interested in the story, and perhaps even a bit more  
>>> interested in
>>> understanding issues such as habitat loss and extinction. Much of  
>>> the money
>>> raised for this issue probably would never have gone to  conservation 
>>> had it
>>> not been for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker's drawing power. I don't  
>>> think that
>>> the Ivory-billed got a chunk of the pie it didn't deserve; my guess  
>>> is that
>>> it helped to increase the size of the pie and that is good. This  
>>> issue will
>>> likely always remain grey, and will never be resolved. The available
>>> evidence is not conclusive for the existence of the Ivory-billed, but
>>> neither can anybody prove that it wasn't there two years ago. I do  
>>> think
>>> that given the searching effort thus far, the bird is no longer  
>>> there if it
>>> ever was there to begin with. Like I said, all birds are findable  if 
>>> you
>>> look hard enough. The Ivory-billed search may be the most concentrated
>>> effort to find a bird ever, and it has not come up with conclusive 
>>> evidence.
>>>
>>>
>>> Al
>>>
>>> Alvaro Jaramillo
>>> chucao AT coastside.net
>>> Half Moon Bay, CA
>>> __________________________________________________
>>> ###########################################################
>>> *              Audubon Society of Missouri's              *
>>> *                Wild Bird Discussion Forum               *
>>> *---------------------------------------------------------*
>>> * To subscribe or unsubscribe, click here:                *
>>> * https://po.missouri.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=mobirds-l&A=1 *
>>> *---------------------------------------------------------*
>>> * To access the list archives, click here:                *
>>> * http://po.missouri.edu/archives/mobirds-l.html          *
>>> *                                                         *
>>> * To access the Audubon Society of Missouri Web           *
>>> * Site:  http://mobirds.org                               *
>>> ###########################################################
>>
>> __________________________________________________
>> ###########################################################
>> *              Audubon Society of Missouri's              *
>> *                Wild Bird Discussion Forum               *
>> *---------------------------------------------------------*
>> * To subscribe or unsubscribe, click here:                *
>> * https://po.missouri.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=mobirds-l&A=1 *
>> *---------------------------------------------------------*
>> * To access the list archives, click here:                *
>> * http://po.missouri.edu/archives/mobirds-l.html          *
>> *                                                         *
>> * To access the Audubon Society of Missouri Web           *
>> * Site:  http://mobirds.org                               *
>> ###########################################################
>
> __________________________________________________
> ###########################################################
> *              Audubon Society of Missouri's              *
> *                Wild Bird Discussion Forum               *
> *---------------------------------------------------------*
> * To subscribe or unsubscribe, click here:                *
> * https://po.missouri.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=mobirds-l&A=1 *
> *---------------------------------------------------------*
> * To access the list archives, click here:                *
> * http://po.missouri.edu/archives/mobirds-l.html          *
> *                                                         *
> * To access the Audubon Society of Missouri Web           *
> * Site:  http://mobirds.org                               *
> ###########################################################
>

__________________________________________________
###########################################################
*              Audubon Society of Missouri's              *
*                Wild Bird Discussion Forum               *
*---------------------------------------------------------*
* To subscribe or unsubscribe, click here:                *
* https://po.missouri.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=mobirds-l&A=1 *
*---------------------------------------------------------*
* To access the list archives, click here:                *
* http://po.missouri.edu/archives/mobirds-l.html          *
*                                                         *
* To access the Audubon Society of Missouri Web           *
* Site:  http://mobirds.org                               *
###########################################################