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Melissa Mayntz

Lord God Bird Extinct

By February 18, 2012

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It's a sad day in southern swamps when birders acknowledge that the mythical double-knock drumming will be heard no more. According to BirdWatching, two independent teams of researchers studying sighting data and performing repeated bird censuses in hopeful habitats have concluded that the ivory-billed woodpecker is extinct.

Since reported rediscoveries of the bird less than a decade ago, birders have been hopeful that the ivory-billed woodpecker could be recovered, but despite exhaustive searches and millions of dollars spent, reliable and undeniable sightings were never recorded. In addition to the new analyses, three other studies from 2010 also point to the bird's probable extinction.

All hope is not necessarily lost, however, and some birders - including Bobby Harrison, who claims to have seen an ivory-billed woodpecker himself in 2004 - will not stop believing, searching and hoping to photograph or videotape the Lord God Bird.

Do you believe the ivory-billed woodpecker is extinct? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Ivory-Billed Woodpecker
Photo KCBirdFan


February 19, 2012 at 12:32 pm
(1) Opposable Chums says:

Of course the bird is extinct. It has been for decades. The announcement of its rediscovery were an egregious misstep, just plain bad science. The “proof” that was offered up at the time was anything but, unsubstantiated anecdotal claims backed up by a piece of blurry video that was wide open to interpretation. Not birding’s finest moment…

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