For those of you keeping score, here's my list of "third-party" people who have publicly expressed skepticism regarding Cornell's Ivory-bill evidence. I'm only including people that might be considered high-profile and/or highly-credentialed.
1. David Sibley, bird book author
2. Kenn Kaufman, bird book author
3. Jerome Jackson, "world's foremost expert on the ivory-billed woodpecker"
4. Richard Prum, ornithologist, Yale University
5. Mark Robbins, ornithologist, University of Kansas
6. Gary Graves, the Smithsonian Institution's curator of birds
7. Michael Patten, ornithologist, University of Oklahoma
8. Louis Bevier, was assistant editor of The Birds of North America, and is currently an associate editor of the journal North American Birds
9. A. Nemesio, ornithologist, Brazil
10. M. Rodrigues, ornithologist, Brazil
11. John Kricher, biology professor, Wheaton College, Norton, Massachusetts
12. John T. Rotenberry, biology professor, University of California Riverside. President of the Cooper Ornithological Society
13. Hans Winkler, ornithologist at the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Ethology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna and co-author of Woodpeckers: A Guide to the Woodpeckers of the World.
14. Noel F. R. Snyder, author of the books The Carolina Parakeet: Glimpses of a Vanished Bird (Princeton, 2004) and The California Condor: A Saga of Natural History and Conservation (Princeton, 2000).
15. John Acorn, biologist, writer, broadcaster, and university lecturer
16. Robb Hamilton, who served on the California Bird
Records Committee from 1998 to 2001
17. James Bednarz, Cornell searcher and member of the IBWO Recovery Team
18. Steve N. G. Howell, bird book author and a past member of the California Bird Records Committee
According to the latest public information that I have, each person above thinks that the entire package falls short of proof.
Remember, this list only includes people who've publicly expressed skepticism. I'm maintaining another list of highly-credentialed people who've privately expressed skepticism. There's currently a stigma attached to anyone expressing doubt; I think this stigma will wane, and I think we will then hear from more skeptics.
Here's a list of high-profile and/or highly-credentialed "third-parties" that have publicly stated that they think Cornell's evidence is convincing:
1. Pete Dunne, bird book author
2. William S. Moore, woodpecker expert from Wayne State University (Detroit). Moore is currently researching the evolutionary history of the Campephilus woodpeckers with Martjan Lammertink, a leader of the Ivory-bill search team in Arkansas .
Of course, the obvious observation is "Why are you limiting the list to third-parties? If you included the Cornell search team, the believer's list would be much larger." My answer is this: I think the search team is so committed to their "Ivory-bill" discovery that they can't be expected to do true objective, cold-hearted analysis of the evidence any longer. I think they've invested so much work and time into this project that expecting them to step back, take a fresh look and ask "Could this really all be a mistake?" is asking too much.
This July 2005 New York Times article provides more information on the public views of Sibley, Kaufman, and Dunne.
Jerome Jackson commented on the controversy in a January 2006 Auk article. A link to that article is available here. An excerpt: "Prum, Robbins, Brett Benz, and I remain steadfast in our belief that the bird in the Luneau video is a normal Pileated Woodpecker".
More skeptical quotes from Prum (December 2005), are available here.
More information about the views of Graves and Patten (September 2005) is available here.
More information about the views of Nemesio and Rodrigues (May/June 2005; also Nov/Dec 2005) is available here.
This Birder's World article (published online February 2006) provides more information about the views of Kricher, Rotenberry, Winkler, Snyder, and Moore.
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