Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The Ivory-billed Woodpecker

One of my life goals is to see an Ivory Billed-Woodpecker. It ranks right up there with buying my first pair of adult cowboy boots. (I ordered them, they're coming.)
The Ivory bill Woodpecker was thought to be extinct about 1944, but recently the species was spotted again in the Cache River Management area of Arkansas.

Earlier this summer I had three pileated woodpeckers in my yard. I began to hear raps and I got out my bird watching binoculars to make sure they weren't ivory bills. Ivory bills have their white markings on the outside of their wings and they are about two inches bigger than a 19 inch pileated. Pileated woodpeckers do not have a visible white stripe on their back when their wings are folded. When they are flying the white is very visible. They hang out about forty feet up in the trees when they are feeding.

Pileated woodpeckers fly around in mated pairs but this group had a third with them which may have been a juvenile or just another suitor. They stripped bark off the trees around my house, which are mainly live oaks. And their rapping was staccato. The calls of the pileated are very similar I think, but not quite a "kant" "kant".

Imagine little old me seeing an ivory bill woodpecker in my yard. But it could happen. Some undocumented sightings in Jefferson County have been reported. That's one county over. This group of three stayed around about a week and I haven't seen them since. I do expect to see an ivory bill woodpecker. I know I will.

1 comment:

  1. Greetings, I was reading some blogs and came across your blog. I'm quite impressed , with how it has a good feel. This is one to watch.


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