Birdberg Blotter: Pileated Police Log

NEWS ITEM (AP, more or less) — Recordings of the ivory-billed woodpecker’s distinctive calls have convinced doubting researchers that the large bird once thought extinct is still living in an Arkansas swamp, the Cache River National Wildlife Refuge.

“We sent them some sounds this summer,” said John W. Fitzpatrick, director of the Cornell University ornithology lab. “We appreciate their ability to say they are now believers.”

This species eats some plant matter but also the larvae of wood-boring insects, such as the longhorn beetle. The ivory-bill can be confused with the relatively abundant pileated woodpecker.

The doubters — from Yale, Kansas and Florida Gulf Coast universities — are withdrawing a scientific journal article questioning whether the bird had really been found, according to Yale ornithologist Richard Prum. -30-

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