Midwest Birding Symposium 3
Among the more interesting aspects of Bobby’s talk were the illustration of the bird’s recurved tail, thought to serve as a spring when it hammers wood in search of beetle larva, and a picture of an ivorybill skeleton at the American Museum of Natural History.
Bobby amused the audience with his imitation of Fielding Lewis, the formerly anonymous boxing commissioner who took the two pictures in 1971 that led to George Lowery’s presentation at the American Ornithologists Union, and of Gene Sparling, the kayaker who saw the first bird in February 2004 and told Bobby that it looked like “a Pileated Woodpecker on steroids.”
While relating his and Tim’s February 2004 sighting, Bobby said, “Here’s this bird, just bookin’ it.” That made me chuckle… to imagine this black-and-white bird flying so fast that its speed qualified as “bookin’ it.” Bobby mischievously tried to blame Tim’s loud voice, projected from the front of their canoe, for scaring away the bird when they both yelled “ivorybill!”
Bobby said the bird was so close to their canoe that “I could see light shining off veins in the primary feathers.” Can you imagine?!