Damaging: Video clip used as proof of Ivory-billed Woodpecker


On October 17, 2020, Bobby Harrison remained in a canoe on a southerly river heading back to his vehicle when a big bird flew before him, transformed, and afterwards flew down the network and also out of his view.

He claims he recognized instantly that the bird was an Ivory-billed Woodpecker.

Harrison has actually been browsing southerly swamps for the varieties for greater than two decades, and also it was an Ivory-bill discovery he had in 2004 with previous Living Bird editor Tim Gallagher that triggered a big look for the bird led by the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. That search initiative finished in very early 2007, and also Harrison has actually proceeded trying to find much better proof on his very own since.

Which’s what he claims he gotten with the October 2020 experience. He was tape-recording with a Sony camera when the bird entered his sight. The discovery lasted 9.8 secs, and also the video clip is, Harrison confesses, not of excellent quality. Since it took place so quick, he could not zoom in on the bird. He never ever planned to make the video clip public, however at some point he did have an opportunity to “reveal it to a couple of individuals from united state Fish and also Wild Animals Solution. They were excited with it, [and] believed it was maybe the most effective proof they had actually seen.”

After That, after FWS recommended in September 2021 to delist the bird “because of termination,” Harrison recognized he needed to reveal the company the video clip formally. He claims the video clip is “proof” of the bird’s determination, however provided its poor quality, he does not call it “evidence.”

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In very early July 2022, FWS claimed it was providing itself 6 even more months to determine what to do concerning the delisting proposition which it was opening up a public-comment duration for thirty days. “Identifying considerable argument amongst professionals concerning the standing of the varieties, the Solution is prolonging the due date to permit extra time to assess details,” a news release claimed.

Harrison produced a PowerPoint discussion to clarify numerous specific frameworks in the video clip that follow Ivory-bill area marks and also do not match various other rather comparable birds, such as Pileated Woodpecker, Northern Pintail, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Muscovy Duck, and also others. On July 18, Harrison offered the PowerPoint to FWS authorities, which included it to the general public document. (That video clip will certainly be uploaded in a day or 2 on a federal government website.)

To get to the larger public, Harrison consented to an unique meeting with BirdWatching He and also I satisfied over Zoom on July 14, and also he informed the tale of his discovery and also revealed the PowerPoint. I consented to wait to upload our meeting up until he talked to FWS. (Apologies for a technological problem or 2 in the video clip and also for the minute where my pet barks.) The complete video clip has to do with 53 mins long, and also the PowerPoint discussion starts at the 7:37 mark. This is ideal checked out on a computer system or various other big display (not a smart phone).

In our conversation, Harrison points out the “Kulivan discovery.” He is describing a record in 1999 by David Kulivan, after that a forestry pupil at Louisiana State College, of 2 birds, most likely Ivory-bills, in the Pearl River Wild Animals Administration Location in Louisiana. You can find out more concerning that occasion in this post that we released in 2002

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Various other birds thought about

After the meeting, I asked Harrison if the bird in his video clip can be a Red-headed Woodpecker, which he does not talk about in the PowerPoint. At concerning 10 inches long, the Red-headed has to do with fifty percent as long as the 19.5-inch Ivory-bill, and also it has rather comparable tuft. On the grownups of both varieties, the leading sides of the wings are black, the routing sides of the wings are white, and also the tails are black.

Harrison claimed he took into consideration Red-headed, in addition to Pileated Woodpecker and also numerous ducks (which he goes over in the video clip).

” I asked myself these concerns since I recognized the doubters would certainly ask these concerns,” he claims. “None of these birds– ducks, Pileated, or Red-headed fit the bird in the video clip. The Red-headed was conveniently eliminated for a couple of factors. It has a white bottom and also a grownup has a red head, and also the bird in the video clip has a black head and also black body. The rate of the bird in the video clip goes beyond the rate of a Red-headed Woodpecker. And Also Red-headed Woodpecker has a white rump. The bird I saw had a black rump dividing the white additional trip plumes. The bird I saw was a lot bigger than a Red-headed Woodpecker.”

What takes place following? Possibly throughout the public-comment duration a person will certainly send a high-grade, clear-as-day picture or video clip of an Ivory-bill. Falling short that, we’ll wait to hear what the Fish and also Wild animals Solution chooses concerning the jeopardized standing of probably one of the most renowned bird in The United States and Canada.

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