Ivory-billed woodpecker sighting real

Aug 27, 2005

Cornell University's Ornithology program researchers in New York offered evidence that the sighting of an ivory-billed woodpecker was legitimate.

University of Arkansas researcher David Luneau accidentally kept a video camera running as his canoe drifted through a bayou in the Big Woods of Arkansas and recorded an ivory-billed woodpecker.

The video, blurry because the recorder was on auto focus, was the main piece of evidence featured online in an Science Express paper claiming the rediscovery of the ivory-billed woodpecker, once thought to be extinct.

Skeptics have refuted the video, saying the bird showed was a pileated woodpecker.

However, Ken Rosenberg, director of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Conservation Science Program, offered a frame-by-frame analysis of Luneau's video at the American Ornithologists' Union Meeting at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

"We think the body of evidence confirms the presence of at least one ivory-billed woodpecker," said Rosenberg.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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