Thursday, April 28, 2005

Ivory-billed woodpecker, once thought extinct, spotted in woods of Arkansas

Bird lovers rejoice!

Reports of the demise of the ivory-billed woodpecker are premature. And wrong.

The Associated Press reports:

The ivory-billed woodpecker, one of the largest such birds in the world, is one of six North American bird species thought to have become extinct since 1880. While somewhat rare, the bird ranged widely across the southeastern United States until logging eliminated many forests between 1880 and the 1940s.

Sometimes called the white-back, pearly bill, poule de bois and even Lord God bird, the ivory bill was known for the two-note rap of its bill as it ripped into tree bark in search of edible grubs and beetle larvae.

There have been anecdotal reports of the birds, but the last conclusive sighting in continental North America was in 1944 in northern Louisiana. A subspecies of the bird has been reported in Cuba.

The new sightings have been in the Big Woods region of Arkansas and each involved a different person or group,

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