Sightings of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers
By April 2006, Brian, Tyler, and Geoff had sighted ivorybill woodpeckers on 13 occasions. The two sightings by Tyler Hicks are the most detailed. Through binoculars Tyler observed a very large, long-winged woodpecker with a powerful stiff-winged flight that he described as loon-like in his first encounter and like a Pintail in his second encounter. Tyler observed that the upper wings had black leading edges and tips and broad white trailing edges that ended at the innermost primaries. He clearly saw the underwing pattern with white secondaries and white wing lining that created a black band down the center of the underwing, spreading to cover the primaries. During one observation, he clearly saw that the crest of the bird was all black. He observed white stripes running from the face down the side of the back. Other sightings are less detailed but in all of the 13 sightings that we considered good enough to log into our records, observers saw diagnostic characteristics of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers—either a white trailing edge on the wings or shape and flight pattern characteristic of ivorybills. Brian, Tyler, and Geoff had numerous other fleeting glimpses of large birds flashing white that may have been ivorybills, but these glimpses were not logged as sightings. On two occasions Brian observed two Ivory-billed Woodpeckers together, and in January as Geoff watched an Ivory-billed Woodpecker fly away from him, he heard a double knock to his right, suggesting that two birds were present. Ivorybills were sighted along the Choctawhatchee River in May, July, and December 2005, and January, February, April, and May 2006.
Click here to download a PDF file containing field notes of our sightings.
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