Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Was It Really an Ivory-Bill?

Could the ivory-billed woodpecker seen in Arkansas recently really have been nothing more than a pileated woodpecker, a common bird that we have here in Connecticut and New York? A blog called Bootstrap Analysis says that a group of ornithologists is about to publish a paper arguing that the Arkansas bird was misidentified and was really a pileated.

Bootstrap Analysis (written by an ornithologist whose name isn’t on his blog, or if it is I can’t find it) discusses why the skeptics might be wrong, why they're right to publish their findings anyway, and how their paper is likely to be misinterpreted and misused in the mainstream media by people who would be happy not to protect land for endangered species. Worth a look, particularly if you're interested in birds.


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