Ivory-billed Woodpecker (finally) officially declared extinct in US

Unfortunately, some species are declared extinct, but new species of birds are also discovered almost every year.

No, you are right; the videos linked are not the 2004 video capture by David Luneau as the page title promises. Further, it seems like most links to the video have been scrubbed from numerous sites. Perhaps a copyright issue? I know I saw that video in the last year or two, but maybe it was embedded in one of the many analytical video discussions of the event.

The great ornithologist John O’Neil from Cornell said he thinks the call on the Ivery-bill is premature, and that the species could still be in the remaining forests. What is of the most concern to me is now the souther states where preserves exist will figure it’s now open season on all that “timber” they can now “harvest”, which will definitely result in extinction. No one really knows if they are actually extinct, and there are many cases of species declared to be “probably extinct” but are rediscovered, sometimes a hundred years later or more… The northern California plant species, Orthocarpus pachystachyus, is one example.


If the Labrador Duck ever was a species, and not just a rare hybrid, I doubt there is much of a lesson there; no actual population was ever found, so it is hard to make a case for habitat loss or overhunting.

Bigfoot sightings keep rolling in, too, but somehow the “possible video evidence” for that taxon is never all that convincing. “Believing is seeing,” as the saying goes.

And many of them go extinct shortly afterward. Or even before. With far less fanfare than the ivory-bill.

And I can’t help but wonder: if the Dusky Seaside Sparrow had as avid a fan base as the ivory-bill, would there be rumors of its continued survival, and alleged sightings?


I agree with the rest of your post, but FYI from what I can tell the main guy pushing the Labrador-Duck-is-a-hybrid theory is a loon (ahem) obsessed with hybrids. After skimming parts of his twitter feed and website it seems he evidently wrote a whole book about how he thinks everything is an implausible hybrid (e.g., humans are a hybrid between chimps and pigs, platypuses are hybrids of ducks and otters, leatherback turtles are hybrids with walruses, etc) but mainstream science couldn’t handle his truth. His blog post about the Labrador Duck hypothesis got picked up by a bunch of birders, but once they realized they were dealing with a conspiracy theorist type who deals fast and loose with evidence to suit his pre-determined idea it got dropped pretty quickly.


It should also be noted that the recent monies procured when the species was supposedly rediscovered in 2005 were siphoned from other endangered species projects, rather than new money…

I can recommend the documentary “Ghost Bird” as a solid accounting of that entire episode…


I recently re-watched “Ghost Bird” and it really is a good documentary about the IBWO “rediscovery.” Certainly not the last word on the topic, but there might never be a last word.

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Thank you for sharing this, I hadn’t heard it before. I think I’ve been listening to it once a day since you posted. There’s an NPR segment that goes with it that is worth listening to as well imho, featuring the voices and perspectives of some of the folks making a living around the area where the bird was reported to be seen: https://www.npr.org/2005/07/06/4721675/brinkley-ark-embraces-the-lord-god-bird Some good Arkansas accents in there.

In case you didn’t catch it: the reference to the sewing machine refers to the Singer Tract: a tract of forest owned by Singer Sewing Machine Company, where the last verified ivory-bill population lived.


It’s pretty disheartening to read about this. Personally, many people don’t pay enough attention to the actions that society has had on the ecosystem. After all, the article did claim that hunting, water-logging, and over-development were major causes, to name a few. I also saw someone’s reply where the Fish and Wildlife Service didn’t even provide enough details about the species that went extinct on their website. We ought to enforce the importance of environmental awareness at a young age, when kids are impressionable.


That link is also the only place to download the song:

Their “Note,” covered up in the image I pasted, reads, ““The Lord God Bird” is only available on NPR.org and does not yet appear on any album.
You must select “Save link as.” My security software warned me that it could not be downloaded securely, and offered me a “Reject” button. But I figured the official NPR website would not be spreading malware, so I instead clicked on the little up-arrow, and selected “Keep.” It is in my iTunes library now.