Ivory-billed woodpeckers in Florida, USA, not just in Arkansas?


Ivory-billed woodpecker

From BirdLife:

Florida ivory?

26-09-2006

Further claims of Ivory-billed Woodpecker Campephilus principalis are disclosed today in the Canadian online journal, Avian Conservation and Ecology—this time from Florida, USA.

Researchers from Auburn University and the University of Windsor report 14 sightings of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers in forest along the Choctawhatchee River in the panhandle of Florida between May 2005 and May 2006.

All but three of the observations were naked eye only without optical aids, and no photographs of the woodpeckers were obtained. On two occasions, two birds were seen together.

In addition, on 41 occasions the researchers heard sounds that matched descriptions of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers, and using automated listening stations and audio recordings from hand-held video cameras isolated 99 “double-knock” sounds and 210 “kent” calls.

These, the researchers say, match historical descriptions of Ivory-billed Woodpecker acoustic signals.

Examples of each are available as supplementary supporting material and can be downloaded here.

This evidence, the researchers state: “suggests that Ivory-billed Woodpeckers may be present in the forests along the Choctawhatchee River.”

“It would be wonderful to confirm that a viable population of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers exists” —Greg Butcher, National Audubon Society

Last year, Ivory-billed Woodpeckers were reported in Arkansas.

More Arkansas: here.

Helicopter Search for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker: here.

Update July 2009: here.

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