Monday, August 21, 2006

IBWO Rumor Central

I have no idea if this is true or not, but this comment deserves a post of its own. I hope the part about it being impossible to get photos is not true, because that will just start this whole circus over again. More on this rumor later...

Anonymous said...

I been hearing the same thing and this is what I am hearing.
1. NINE pairs of IBWOs have been found in Florida in the panhandle section of Florida. These birds were found along some remote river. Also this location was not even listed as a potential IBWO location but the habitat is perfect for IBWOs.
2. A Georgia University graduate student has been studying these birds for some time. This study MIGHT be presented at the AOU meeting in Mexico. No one knows for sure but the rumor is that the presentation will be at the AOU meeting. Hence possibly reason why some Cornell people close to the IBWO topic are in attendance.
3. Rumor also has it that all the photos taken of these birds are not very good, which will open the door once again for months of debate regarding the identity of these woodpeckers.
4. Outside birders/researchers who knew about this study have visited and searched the area and found nothing. The area is supposedly filled with alligators, snakes, lots of mosquitos and other insects. Which might be the reason why they failed in finding any IBWOs in this area.
5. The only other person who has seen some of these IBWOs is the graduate student's professor.Since so many other birders on Bird Forum have heard the same thing as I, I thought I just spill the beans and be more informative on what the rumor is all about.Let games begin!

Monday, August 21, 2006 10:44:09 AM


Bill Pulliam said...

[I moved this comment from the other thread]

Trying to be optimistic, but I've heard this all before in one form or another. Some things already aren't adding up. It may just be the rumor mill, but things such as these get my red flags a-twitching:

"some remote river" Nowhere in the Florida panhandle is all that "remote."

"Not even listed as potential IBWO location" I didn't know there was an official list? The location that I have heard rumored (in an indirect, sideways, wink wink sort of way) IS listed on the surveys I posted some months back. But so are a whole bunch of other panhandle rivers.

But the most ominous is the "Nine pears" gig. A population of 18 adult, breeding woodpeckers, yet no one else has seen them? We've always said that when a nest is found then the irreproducibility and crappy photos will be a thing of the past. But now it's nine breeding pairs and still no clear photos or corroborative sightings? Not adding up...

I'm not doubting that there is *something* going on there, and I agree that if there are real Ivorybills in Florida those panhandle rivers are high on the list of places for them to hang out. But I do have serious doubts about the reliability of these rumors; it has a whiff of hyperbole about it. Until we hear from the horse's mouth I'm just gonna file this one away with all the other "Ivorybills yesterday, ivorybills tomorrow, never ivorybills today" stories I have heard since the 1970s.

cyberthrush said...

actually, this rumor has a lot of elements in it previous rumors have lacked, but nonetheless it is way too early to begin debating any specifics until the team on-site has the chance to release whatever amount of information they wish to in whatever form they choose -- they should be given that chance wihout a lot of second-guessing ahead of time. There are many conservation matters that HAVE TO BE put in place before any detailed disclosures can be made.

Birding is NOT a crime!!!! said...

I think that Bill and Cy both raise some good points. (How's that for straddling the fence?)

I will say that I wouldn't have highlighted this rumor if it was easily disprovable: it is not. The story is coming from the "right" people in the "right" locations.

It may be a hoax, it may be the truth, but it is such a specific rumor that it will be easily (dis)proven when the time comes. I feel an obligation to post positive IBWO rumors just like I would post negative ones. I don't think secrecy is the way to go. Whether this rumor pans out or not is irrelevant, it is something people will be talking about. Might as well get it out into the open and get everyone's opinions "on the record" so the "I-told-you-so"s will be more entertaining to read later.

Bill Pulliam said...

My issues here are not with the researchers, and please don't in any way think that I believe they should be pressured into a damaging premature disclosure of findings. I'm just concerned about the rumors and the way they can warp perceptions with long-term consequences. I think that a good deal of the anger and rancor directed at Cornell now has its origins in the great disappointment that many felt when they finally saw the Luneau video, having had their expectations raised to expect something far more glorious.

Anonymous said...

ther aplunnty of dem ivirybiled peckkerheads here in Miisusipi

hell, the ol ladie an; me fryed up 2 fir diner sundae

Anonymous said...

Aint dat spelt "Miiususipi"?

Anonymous said...

wreckon soh

Anonymous said...

You got part of the story wrong. The school isn't in Georgia, it's in Alabama.

Bill Pulliam said...

Hey! I've coined a sound bite! Tom Nelson has used a version of the quip at the end of my first comment up there as a subject for one of his postings (without credit, but no matter)

My 15 minutes have arrived! WOO HOO

Anonymous said...

I "know" this rumor is B.S. already, just as I "know" that a bulk mail "You're already a winner in our Sweepstakes" is B.S. Bill has made a lot of good points, but the clincher, to me, is the NINE pairs of birds.

So someone has been studying these birds for months, right? How could you possibly see them well enough to determine there are NINE pairs, yet not get good photos?

Answer: you can't, unless your full of crap.

This is, obviously, yet another rumor that will not pan out. You can bet on that.

Anonymous said...

Some reasons this rumor is nothing more than a rumor:

An anonymous person said this about another anonymous person searching in a secret area.

All the facts "might be announced at the AOU meeting."

This rumor is of the believers and by the believers and for the believers.

There are nine pairs. How exactly would you know there are nine pairs even if this were true?

The photos are not very good. What a surprise. (Bigfoot, Loch Ness, Aliens, Cornell's Paper.)

Outside people cannot see these birds. (Bigfoot, Loch Ness, Aliens, The Cornell Bird.)

The old "it's brutal wilderness and the bugs are really bad" baloney.

All the previos rumors have fallen through. Including Cornell's. And the reason we believed Cornell is they were, supposedly, "the right people."

You simply cannot be studying 18+ loud, large birds for months and not be able to get at least one good photo.

These birds didn't appear out of nowhere. Where has this mob been hiding all this time?

So this guy, studying all these birds for months, can't find ONE nest or roost hole?

The information is known only to "The Chosen Ones." For the good of the bird, of course.