Friday, March 09, 2007

Texas search for Ivory-billed Woodpecker

In east Texas, searchers delve into Big Thicket National Preserve, a Globally Important Bird Area.

Campbell, 23, and a pair of companions in similar kayaks are on a tedious winter-long canvass of Texas' famed Big Thicket, an often impenetrable jungle of swamps choked with thorny vines and prodigious pine and cedar trees, in pursuit of the ivory-billed woodpecker.

The bird, at 20 inches with a nearly 3-foot wingspan, is the third-largest woodpecker in the world and the biggest woodpecker north of Mexico. It was thought to be extinct until a kayaker reported seeing an ivory-billed along the Cache River in east-central Arkansas.

"There's a lot of doubters out there that this bird does exist," said Campbell, from Emmaus, Pa. "I believe it exists."
More here.

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