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Wed Sep 29, 2021, 06:25 AM

Ivory-billed woodpecker officially declared extinct, along with 22 other species

Source: Washington Post


The ivory-billed woodpecker is one of nearly two dozen species of animals and plants that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has officially declared extinct. (Auscape/Universal Images Group/Getty Images)


The “Lord God Bird” is dead. The ivory-billed woodpecker, a ghostly bird whose long-rumored survival in the bottomland swamps of the South has haunted seekers for generations, will be officially declared extinct by U.S. officials after years of futile efforts to save it. It earned is nickname because it was so big and so beautiful those blessed to spot it blurted out the Lord’s name. Even the scientist who wrote the obit cried.

“This is not an easy thing,” said Amy Trahan, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist who reviewed the evidence and wrote the report concluding the ivory bill “no longer exists.” “Nobody wants to be a part of that,” she added, choking up in a Zoom interview. “Just having to write those words was quite difficult. It took me awhile.” The Fish and Wildlife Service proposal Wednesday to take 23 animals and plants off the endangered species list — because none can be found in the wild — exposes what scientists say is an accelerating rate of extinction worldwide.

A million plants and animals are in danger of disappearing, many within decades. The newly extinct species are the casualties of climate change and habitat destruction, dying out sooner than any new protections can save them. The species pushed over the brink include 10 types of birds and bats found only on Pacific islands, as well as eight types of freshwater mussels that once inhabited riverbeds from Illinois to Georgia. The best available science suggests these creatures are no longer swimming, scampering or soaring on this planet, obliterating the need for any federal protection.

With a range that once spanned from the coastal plains of North Carolina to the bayous of East Texas, the ivory-billed woodpecker’s numbers suffered their most precipitous drop during the 1800s. Marksmen gunned them down for private collectors and hat makers, while loggers felled the old-growth stands where the birds roosted and foraged for grub. “The fact that this bird is so critically endangered has been true since the 1890s, and it’s fundamentally a consequence of the fact that we cut down every last trace of the virgin forest of the southeastern U.S.,” said John W. Fitzpatrick, director emeritus of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. “We took all that away.”

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2021/09/29/endangered-species-ivory-billed-woodpecker/



The one thing to note regarding the disposition of various species is that we are also continually finding new ones never "seen" (or at least never recorded) before, so the awareness of habitat and climate change should help to underscore taking action for those we know about that are beneficial to the ecosystem.

The American Alligator was once hunted almost to extinction for its hide, and is now almost a nuisance animal for obvious reasons (due to the rapid development of housing in Florida in its habitat).

Of course the more obvious one being carefully preserved is the Bald Eagle, which took over 60 years to get it to a recovered stage.

The California Condor is another under a preservation program.

If California needs anything, I can send them our turkey vultures.



If one wants to talk about how well the banning of DDT and other pesticides that were killing birds, has done in preservation, I know I grew here in Philly assuming that birds like "vultures" only existed "out west" like in the cartoons, flying in circles over barren deserts... Until I traveled up to north Jersey for a work trip almost 30 years ago and literally saw dozens of what I would discover were "turkey vultures" that were perching and pooping all over the office park where I had visited. I had never seen anything so big, scary and ugly like that and not in a zoo. Now they are all over the Philly area and the rim suburbs feasting on road kill. Seeing a 3 foot tall hulking bird a few feet away is pretty shocking to say the least.

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Reply Ivory-billed woodpecker officially declared extinct, along with 22 other species (Original post)
BumRushDaShow Sep 29 OP
Escurumbele Sep 29 #1
NurseJackie Sep 29 #2
NewHendoLib Sep 29 #3
lark Sep 29 #5
NewHendoLib Sep 29 #6
lark Sep 29 #8
Nay Sep 29 #10
NewHendoLib Sep 29 #12
Rhiannon12866 Sep 29 #38
NewHendoLib Sep 29 #39
Rhiannon12866 Sep 29 #40
BumRushDaShow Sep 29 #4
lark Sep 29 #7
BumRushDaShow Sep 29 #13
mopinko Sep 29 #17
lark Sep 29 #19
BumRushDaShow Sep 29 #20
LudwigPastorius Sep 29 #28
BumRushDaShow Sep 29 #29
dem in texas Sep 29 #34
BumRushDaShow Sep 29 #35
SWBTATTReg Sep 29 #31
mopinko Sep 29 #32
3Hotdogs Sep 29 #11
BumRushDaShow Sep 29 #16
Bayard Sep 29 #22
BumRushDaShow Sep 29 #23
paleotn Sep 29 #25
BumRushDaShow Sep 29 #26
Botany Sep 29 #9
mopinko Sep 29 #18
MineralMan Sep 29 #14
Aviation Pro Sep 29 #15
hatrack Sep 29 #21
Calista241 Sep 29 #24
MustLoveBeagles Sep 29 #27
Mysterian Sep 29 #30
jeffreyi Sep 29 #33
NullTuples Sep 29 #36
BumRushDaShow Sep 29 #37

Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 06:59 AM

1. Hmm, we have a family of "Ivory-billed woodpeckers" in our backyard, they come and go.

As a matter of fact, one of them took it on himself to break the side mirrors of my car, luckily he/she just cracked them, so I had to place a bag on the mirrors.

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Response to Escurumbele (Reply #1)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 07:08 AM

2. Take a photo and let someone know!!

Maybe they could be captured and bred in captivity for re-release.

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Response to Escurumbele (Reply #1)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 07:20 AM

3. probably pileated woodpeckers, very similar

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Response to NewHendoLib (Reply #3)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 07:34 AM

5. I was thinking that bird looked almost identical to one that nested in my largest oak tree.

What is the difference between the 2 breeds?

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Response to lark (Reply #5)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 07:39 AM

6. white areas on wing, size, call, bill color among other aspects

such as habitat

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Response to NewHendoLib (Reply #6)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 07:44 AM

8. What is the ivory billed woodpeckers habitat?

We mostly see pileated woodpeckers here on the older oak trees, but sometimes others as well such as pecans and often see them on the tops of telephone/power poles. Does the ivory billed woodpecker have similar tastes - big old hardwood trees?

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Response to lark (Reply #8)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 07:58 AM

10. Remote cypress swamps and bottom land forests in the South, mainly.

They would not settle in the vicinity of humans.

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Response to Nay (Reply #10)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 08:03 AM

12. their SE virgin forests are all gone which led to their demise

habitat loss. they were shy and didn't like being around people

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Response to NewHendoLib (Reply #3)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 09:56 PM

38. I saw a pileated woodpecker once, when I was a kid

My grandmother spotted him in the side yard and called us out to see. That is one sighting I will not forget, he was huge! (Compared to other woodpeckers we'd see)

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Response to Rhiannon12866 (Reply #38)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 10:17 PM

39. they are common where we now live - one flew over my head, just 10 feet above me, today!

We've had them on our feeders, on our house, on our deck - I never get used to seeing them!

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Response to NewHendoLib (Reply #39)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 10:24 PM

40. I can imagine!

I was only about 9 years old and it's stuck with me till now. My mother and both grandmothers were big on birds, whatever I know, I learned from them. This was when we lived in Saratoga, the lot next door did not contain a house then, we called it "the pit" since it was a big hole where the foundation had been dug and it was used to pile branches from other lots where they were building. We kids loved it, we could use it for sliding in the winter, or build forts - and it probably attracted woodpeckers, too.

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Response to Escurumbele (Reply #1)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 07:34 AM

4. Agree with NewHendoLib that it was probably a pilated



I remember years ago visiting my mom and happened to be in her backyard and looked over at one of her neighbor's trees and was floored when I actually saw what was a pilated woodpecker clinging to the side of it. You couldn't miss that red crown and the size and coloring of it

Growing up, we would always hear some kind of woodpecker in the neighborhood but never saw them. When I finally saw that one, I was surprised at the size.

When one of my sisters moved to her current house almost 20 years ago (which is not far from where I live), not only did she have pilated woodpeckers, but I saw yet another type that I ID'd as a downy woodpecker (which was much smaller).



I actually watched it making mincemeat out of my niece's old wooden playset and then saw that it discovered my sister's deck rails.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #4)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 07:40 AM

7. Thanks so much for this.

We have a lot of woodpeckers in my area and now I can look for the ones that have all black faces & white on the lower wings or black crests. They might be here, wouldn't that be awesome! I also think I've seen the Downy version too, will try to pay closer attention. Maybe start bringing the binoculars on our walks?

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Response to lark (Reply #7)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 08:04 AM

13. You are welcome!

I always assumed that woodpeckers were relatively elusive - I guess because they do hang out in trees pecking for their insect food.

But the downy ones I saw were just so bold and out and about, and they seemed to take advantage of "man made" wooden structures to find food. Why bother with a tree when there are plenty of critters that can bore into what eventually becomes untreated (after years) frames from a wooden swing set. The acrobatics of them pecking on the swing set's cross beams while upside down was astonishing.

They are a little smaller than robins (I guess to give a size comparison). I guess maybe house finch size.

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Response to lark (Reply #7)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 08:22 AM

17. if you get a recording of woodpeckers, you can play it and they will answer you.

the cornell library has the world's largest collection of bird calls.
most of the birding apps have calls.

woodpeckers and owls will usually answer you. lots of little birds will too. it's a great way to watch birds w kids, and knowing calls is a big help in id's.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #17)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 08:27 AM

19. As we walk around in the morning, my husband mimics the birds calls & they call back.

We think it's usually the mockingbirds, but sometimes the crows or ravens will caw back at us after we caw at them. Getting a small recorder sounds like a good idea. We have lots of owls around here too.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #17)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 09:13 AM

20. I love Cornell's bird song database and use it a lot

I recently have had song sparrows visit my back patio the past couple years. I had never encountered them before (am used to all sorts of other sparrows - mainly house sparrows).

I never realized a bird so small could be so loud. This past spring, my male "visitor" managed to not only start singing before the robins early in the morning, but went most of the rest of the morning and then returned to sing until after the sun went down (right around breeding season). Whenever I went out on the patio, he would confront me too.

Last year, I had a pair build a nest in one of my potted tropical plants (a stephanotis) and before I brought that in for fall, I had to remove the nest (it was empty after the babies hatched).

As a city girl, I know the past 20 years I have seen so many different types of birds that I never saw growing up in this same area. Agree with doing calls at them too. They definitely take notice.

And regarding the woodpecker sounds, for several years, I couldn't figure out what the heck was making a literal "tropical jungle" sound in the trees at my sister's house (the stand of trees was at the bottom of the hill in her yard along a creek) and finally confirmed that it was a pilated woodpecker.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #20)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 12:06 PM

28. That is, surprisingly, not far off from this:

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Response to LudwigPastorius (Reply #28)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 12:08 PM

29. LOL

But Woody's singing was more "melodious".

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #20)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 02:16 PM

34. I am an 82 years old birdwatcher

Can't get around much now so confine my bird watching to my yard. Many years ago I bought recordings of bird calls from Cornell. I listened to them and leaned to identify birds by their calls. We now live in Dallas on the western side of the county which is hilly with creeks and woods and used to be good bird watching. Sadly, more of the land is being developed and the woods cut down, I used to see so many different kinds of bids in my yard. Now many species are no longer here.

My biggest bird sound thrills while living here was to hear cuckoos call and once hear the call of a migrating wood thrush.

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Response to dem in texas (Reply #34)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 03:14 PM

35. Growing up, there were many birds that I would hear about that frequented the suburbs

that I never saw in the city. But then a magical thing happened - the city started adding more habitat conducive to them and I would say over the past 20 years, I have seen an amazing variety including some as previously elusive here as a ruby-throated hummingbird.

My first hummer experience was a almost 2000 miles away in Colorado on a work trip. Looking it up, since we were staying at a facility at 8,200 ft, I think they were broad-tailed ones. There were literally hundreds at the dozens of feeders that were put up around the place. Fast forward 20 years and I finally saw my own local ones - a single ruby-throated hummer that found one of my plants in 2004, and ever since I have put up feeders for them and planted some of their favorite plants.

Add birds like red-tailed and Cooper's hawks, house finches, a pair of juvenile American Kestels that were perched outside on one of the parapets at my former work building, and a couple years ago, I even ID'd a female Eastern towhee on my patio. I was like - "What the heck is this bird scratching through some fallen leaves on my patio like a chicken???"

And during a vacation up to Niagara Falls (on the Canadian side) back in 2015, after hearing about them all my life, I saw my first red-winged blackbirds. There were hundreds there.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #17)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 12:35 PM

31. A neat suggestion! I think I'll do this, go and get recordings of some bird calls from my ...

state conservation agency or Cornell (I hope! In Missouri, we do have a rather robust agency, supported by a long voter approved 1/8th of a cent sales tax for decades thus far)...Like I said, I hope that they have some decent bird calls...

For those of you who love birds, there's a nice podcast on Missouri birds (and those that migrate through the state too) at https://mdc.mo.gov/s2e2-birds-podcast-transcript

Discover area birds at GreatMissouriBirdingTrail.com

The Missouri conservation website is: https://mdc.mo.gov/

When people hear about these large bird declines, sometimes it can be quite overwhelming because they don't know where to start or how to help. But there's a website, 3billionbirds.org, that has seven simple actions that people can do for birds.

Here's a snapshot of your Cornell Library suggestion (Thanks so much!! A Gold mine of ideas, which I bookmarked.)

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Response to SWBTATTReg (Reply #31)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 01:52 PM

32. a local database is a great thing to have.

you're lucky.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #4)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 08:00 AM

11. Downys will steal food out of your hand.

There is (maybe was) one in Central Park, N.Y. that would steal sandwiches and other food from people.

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Response to 3Hotdogs (Reply #11)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 08:17 AM

16. HA!!! You just confirmed what I posted here -

https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1014&pid=2806423

Downys are basically "the seagulls of the woodpecker world".

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #4)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 09:19 AM

22. Woodpeckers are considered a big nuisance in the area of Calif. where I lived

Down the road from Kings Canyon./Sequoia National Parks.

They will make swiss cheese out of any kind of wood structure to hide their vast collection of acorns. My little old farmhouse, and huge garage, were both wooden. There were whole sections of pecker wood. I finally got the rest of my stuff shipped here, after years in storage out there. Some of it was chock full of acorns.

They are protected (don't know what variety they were), but people shoot them anyway because of the damage they cause. The fate of the Ivory-Billed is very sad, however. Doesn't sound like they ever harmed anything, but we killed them off anyway.



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Response to Bayard (Reply #22)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 09:57 AM

23. Well I saw the damage that the Downy woodpecker did to the posts of my sister's deck railing

and have been sitting out on the deck while a couple would fly over and start pecking. The deck was there when she moved in (built by the previous owner who also used indoor type wood banister sections for the rails).

Every couple years, my sis would have a guy pressure wash and reseal the deck and rails, but at some point between the treatments, there were carpenter bees that also discovered the wood rails and posts, drilled perfect circular holes in them, and deposited an egg, and that seemed to become a big flashing neon sign for woodpeckers to come get some fast food.

I found this video of a pilated going right after a carpenter-bee ridden rail -



I haven't actually been there to see any pilated do that to her deck (they seem to prefer to be more hidden) although I've seen one on her neighbor's old (dying) front yard dogwood tree. She just had new neighbors move in over the summer in that house and those neighbors have spent the past month removing many of the dead or dying trees... and even had a beekeeper come and get a giant honey bee hive out of an old dying tree on the property line that I think was ID'd as an Ash).

My sister's yard is a literal zoo of creatures (which I suppose is great for conservation and naturalization) and this is right near the city line of Philly.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #4)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 10:29 AM

25. Every Spring, Downys start whacking on our house.

I feed these guys all Winter long. Soon as the snow flies, the feeders and suet come out. Trudge thru a foot or more of snow all Winter long to refill. The Chickadees, Buntings, Finches and many others seem thankful. Even the Red Bellied Woodpeckers and Flickers seem appreciative. The Downys? They beat on our house.

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Response to paleotn (Reply #25)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 10:33 AM

26. They seem to be spoiled and want

live bugs! It's their caviar.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 07:52 AM

9. This is sad

Last edited Wed Sep 29, 2021, 08:29 AM - Edit history (1)

I remember some reports of rare sightings and recordings of its call since the 1970s up to about
the 2000s but I guess the population was to small to keep the species going and it needed old
growth bottom or swamp land forests.




One more rivet is gone.
The "rivet-popper" hypothesis put forth by Paul R. Ehrlich and his wife Anne H. Ehrlich compares each species forming part of an ecosystem with a rivet on the airplane (represented by the ecosystem). The progressive loss of species mirrors the progressive loss of rivets from the plane, weakening it till it is no longer sustainable and crashes.

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Response to Botany (Reply #9)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 08:24 AM

18. i remember reading here about a possible sighting.

louisiana, maybe. so that's since '03.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 08:09 AM

14. Thank goodness the Pileated Woodpecker is still around.

One visited the maple tree near our deck this week. It stayed briefly and then flew off. We see them here in the Twin Cities only for a short time as they migrate, but it's always a joy.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 08:10 AM

15. Oscar Owre (RIP) is reunited with his beloved woodpecker

He was one of the few who knew the locations of some of the last survivors in the swamps of Florida and he took that secret with him.

RIP, magnificent bird.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 09:18 AM

21. Preview of Coming Attractions . . .

Plenty more debuting soon.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 09:58 AM

24. This makes me sad. n/t

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 10:50 AM

27. That's too bad

They were very beautiful.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 12:35 PM

30. Humans are destroying the only known biosphere in the universe

We are nothing but stupid, murderous apes who call ourselves "intelligent."

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 01:56 PM

33. We won!

We really whupped 'em.
.
.
.
.
.
Gawd this is sad.
Gawd I am glad I did not replicate.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 09:29 PM

36. Please don't send any more turkey vultures!

We already have 3 types here in California!
[link:https://birdwatchinghq.com/vultures-in-california/|]

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Response to NullTuples (Reply #36)

Wed Sep 29, 2021, 09:32 PM

37. ...

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