Thursday, April 28, 2005

Greatest Black-backed Woodpecker

Just a couple of weeks ago I was talking with an ornithologist friend who had just come back from Cuba. I asked him jokingly if he had seen an ivory-billed woodpecker. He said he had not, although he had visited the part of the island where they live. Their rediscovery in Cuba, back in the 1980s, by Lester Shortt, an ornithologist with the American Museum of Natural History, caused quite a stir. I remember going one morning to his cottage, in back-country Greenwich, to interview him about it -- an unmemorable interview except that he had seen an ivory-bill, the so-named greatest black-backed woodpecker (so named by one of the early ornithologists, Alexander Wilson, I think.

Now today comes the news of the discovery in Arkansas. Jon Christensen, at The Uneasy Chair, has a number of worthwhile links, so to learn more, go there.


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