Monday, September 25, 2006

Hill's IBWO web site now online

Check this out.

Update 1: It looks like the site was taken down not long after I posted the link above. Here's a tantalizing one-sentence excerpt:
At present, our best tangible evidence for the presence of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers along the Choctawhatchee River is recordings of double knocks and kent calls.
Update 2: More tantalizing text from the site:
If we encounter birders in our study area, we will ask them to leave and suggest other areas to search...If birders crowd into one spot, ivorybills will be driven out of that area...
---
Seven observers among the twelve who visited the site for at least 48 hours between May 2005 and April 2006 heard either double knocks or kent calls, and observers detected these signature sounds of ivorybills on 41 separate occasions during this period including as many as 50 kent calls and 45 double knocks during single encounters. Kent calls or double knocks were heard in May and December 2005 and January, February, March, April, May, June, and July 2006.
Update 3:

The site claimed that Brian Rolek had no fewer than 23 sound detections and 10 sightings...It also said that through July 2006, 9 of 13 visitors who spent more than 48 hours at the site detected Ivory-billed Woodpeckers...The "evidence" was collected in a small search area roughly one mile wide and two miles long.

Update 4: Fishcrow meets Hill--see related Birdforum posts here and here.

85 comments:

Amy Lester said...

Holy.Freaking.Idiots.

http://www.auburn.edu/academic/science_math/cosam/departments/biology/faculty/webpages/hill/ivorybill/Cavities.html

Let's get this straight: these lying sacks of fraud-peddling garbage see Ivory Billed Woodpeckers flying around and roosting cavities in the area then return to the site to do more "research" but refuse to investigate or report on what's inside the roosting cavities?

Just how dumb do they think people are?

Give us a break already.

Amy Lester said...

http://www.auburn.edu/academic/science_math/cosam/departments/biology/faculty/webpages/hill/ivorybill/Feeding.html

This isn't science. This is buffoonery and/or hackery.

I'm going to go all the way and suggest that these morons were home-schooled by religious fundamentalists and either do not know the difference between actual evidence and rhetorical horseshxt, or they simply do not care.

Try reading that garbage, while keeping in mind that a living ivory-billed woodpecker has not been observed for six decades.

A priority of future research will be to provide better links between the scaled bark that we observe on trees along the Choctawhatchee River and foraging ivorybills.

Why not try to link the scaled bark to dwarf pterodactyls? What is the difference?

Amy Lester said...

If we encounter birders in our study area, we will ask them to leave and suggest other areas to search. It is not worth endangering this small population of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers

What about the population of dwarf pterodactyls? Or the tiny Florida Sasquatch colony?

We don't want to risk endangering them, either, do we?

I suggest that the NUMBER ONE REASON that Hill and Mennill do not want people "intruding" on their little adventure is so they aren't caught manufacturing data.

IBWO_Agnostic said...

Amy,

Are YOU going to climb a dead tree to look inside for feathers? Or perhaps you are going to bring a 30ft extension ladder in on a canoe? Perhaps a bucket truck?

Personally, I think they are being completely above board, and honest. I think they handle the interests of birders well:
http://tinyurl.com/mb3f4
Would I like better evidence..damn straight! Do I think they CONFIRMED IBWO? No. Are they onto something? Maybe. At least they are releasing everything. Although it looks like Dan's a little slow on the audio webpage.

Anonymous said...

From the website:
"Not Proof

Although members of our search group are convinced that Ivory-billed Woodpeckers persist in the swamp forests along the Choctawhatchee River, we readily concede that the evidence we have amassed to date falls short of definitive. Definitive evidence will come in the form of a clear, indisputable film, digital image, or video image of an Ivory-billed Woodpecker or perhaps from a fresh feather or DNA sample. No such indisputable evidence has been gathered since photographic images of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers were made in the Singer Tract of Louisiana in the 1930s.

While we do not present our evidence as proof, we feel that the evidence that we have amassed is compelling and warrants a substantial follow-up effort. "

Nicely done, guys. This is exactly the way it should be handled. Full disclosure, birders told about searching opportunities in the area.

And this:
" Tyler Hicks recorded the best sight records by a skilled birder since the Singer Tract was cut"

Boy, I cannot WAIT till Fishcrow reads that!

Bill Pulliam said...

"Not found on this server"

Anonymous said...

I may have been wrong about Dr. Hill.

TB

Anonymous said...

The link doesn't work. Maybe they took down the site in shame?

Anonymous said...

I would like to report similar roosting holes in Amherst, Massachusetts plus kent calls.

Bill Pulliam said...

"lying sacks of fraud-peddling garbage"

An attitude towards established mainstream scientists that will carry you far in your Academic career.

Look down, Amy... can you see the shark?

Anonymous said...

Appears that the web page is as elusive as its subject... The page has been removed from Hill's site, the suspense is killing me...

Anonymous said...

Site seems to be taken down (2:06pm Mon).

Amy Lester said...

Are YOU going to climb a dead tree to look inside for feathers? Or perhaps you are going to bring a 30ft extension ladder in on a canoe? Perhaps a bucket truck?

No, but I'm not publishing a website that appears to claim, over and over again, that I'm part of a team that has rediscovered a famous extinct bird.

Get it? Try really hard.

Anonymous said...

Bill,

Amy is clearly not the one who has jumped-the-shark here. My god, he did it. Hill did it. He actually jumped off the cliff with Fitzcrow.

Amazing!

Amy Lester said...

Although members of our search group are convinced that Ivory-billed Woodpeckers persist in the swamp forests along the Choctawhatchee River

Jacques Benveniste was convinced that his "infinitely diluted water" had remarkable properties.

Do you remember what the problem was?

Amy Lester said...

Bill Pulliam

An attitude towards established mainstream scientists that will carry you far in your Academic career.

Oh, I get it. In order to succeed, I need to kiss the asses of "established" scientists who make truly remarkable but false claims or who publish loads of inarticulate misleading nonsense? Is that how it works, Bill? Sure sounds to me like that's what you're saying. Is this true for all fields of science, or just ornithology?

Look down, Amy... can you see the shark?

No, just my two feet firmly on the ground.

Anonymous said...

Are you telling me that Rolek didn't go out there with a video camera?

This story not only sank into the abyss by the weight of it's own foolishness, made a right turn into stupidity, hit a wall of folly, but has now fallen into a mind numbing muck of absurdity.

Bill Pulliam said...

'I need to kiss the asses of "established" scientists who make truly remarkable but false claims or who publish loads of inarticulate misleading nonsense?'

You know their data are faked. You know their claims are false. You know they are liars. You know all of this because it is just TRUE.

I think we have found the fundamentalist true believer in the crowd here. It is YOU, Ms. Lester, who don't belong in the scientific community.

Anonymous said...

Hey, ornithologists do learn! They learned not to put blurry videos out. Now it's just he said/she said.

Nothing to dispute really. Just more sightings.

What are we to make of this?

Amy Lester said...

we readily concede that the evidence we have amassed to date falls short of definitive

This so-called "disclaimer" hardly addresses the tone and numerous implicit claims found elsewhere on those web pages.

Moreover, the "disclaimer" itself is misleading to the extent that it discusses "evidence" for the existence of living ivory-billed woodpeckers when, in fact, all that has been "collected" is data that is BEST explained by the presence of WELL-KNOWN living animals in the habitat from which the data was collected.

Parsimony. Occam's razor. In the context of establishing the existence of a large bird that has escaped verifiable documentation in the wild for SIX DECADES despite thousands of people looking for it, garbage like "tree scaling" and "double knocks" simply do not cut it.

Never have. Never will.

Maybe the Auburn website is a big practical joke being played on ornithology by some "sociology of science" grad student.

That would make more sense.

Bill Pulliam said...

So Amy, you accuse these people of downright criminal levels of deliberate, premeditated fraud and deception.

You better start coming up with evidence other than "I just know their results can't be true."

Anonymous said...

Bill Pulliam,

Would you please get off your lazy duff, cut your hair, and get out there and find out what these bozos are talking about. I mean really. You're the only one I trust anymore.

I beg you, Bill. Just go camp out there and don't come back until you can give us a definitive answer. And maybe a good pic too!

Please!

Anonymous said...

For god sakes Amy, get a grip.
Sure you can be upset but if you cannot be dispassionately rational at least be somewhat entertaining by presenting your views in a humorous or sardonic way. There aren't enough people who post here that I want to start ignoring anything you write. You misjudge the audience if you think people come here to hear rants.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bill,

Maybe it's the fraud of stupidity.

I agree that their disclaimer is lame in the face of definitive statements that "Ivorybills were sighted along the Choctawhatchee River in May, July, and December 2005, and January, February, April, and May 2006."

It doesn't say the data is suspect and imperfect. It says that "Ivorybills were sighted...."

So, either the disclaimer is false or that quoted statement is false.

Which is it, BIll?

Anonymous said...

Amy,

Your strident-edness smells very fishcrowy to me.

"Tyler observed that the upper wings had black leading edges and tips and broad white trailing edges that ended at the innermost primaries. He clearly saw the underwing pattern with white secondaries and white wing lining that created a black band down the center of the underwing, spreading to cover the primaries. During one observation, he clearly saw that the crest of the bird was all black. He observed white stripes running from the face down the side of the back."

So he LIED about this?

Anonymous said...

Has the airport been halted yet?

US F&WS where are you? The airport, people. The airport. It's all about the airport!!

the carpinterio said...

Well the carpinterio has to give amy a few points and give the man of constant sorrow a few dope slaps for too much peace love and understanding ...

Amy is on the skeptic blog afterall and here is where you come to be skeptical, since the media can't seem to be skeptical, and the major science journals can't seem to be skeptical, and even you, who have managed to be pretty skeptical, can't manage to really be - mad as a hornet skeptical" ...

really, all hill et al are doing is wrapping non - sense in the language of ecological science and it is legitimate to make loud farting noises in response.

Bill Pulliam said...

But the hair is part of the camo, dotcha know.

For the record, based on the teeny snippets I have seen:

They need to get a freekin' photo.

I see absolutely nothing wrong with publishing what they have so far, however controversial and inconclusive it may be. When did it become unscientific to put your controversial data out for discussion?

I look forward to hearing the audio and seeing how the analyses of these sounds come out. Just like one can say that if these birds exist someone damn sure oughta be able to get the freekin' photo to prove it, if these kents are made by blue jays someone damn sure oughta be able to get the freekin' audio to prove it. So far we've seen/heard neither.

Amy Lester said...

You better start coming up with evidence other than "I just know their results can't be true."

Sounds like a threat.

First of all, Bill, why not just put up or shut up?

I'll bet you $1,000 dollars that one year from this day nobody will have produced a fresh DNA sample from any source that positively identifies a living ivory billed woodpecker anywhere on earth.

Do you take the bet? If not, why not? I mean, Hill et al. are CONVINCED and they are "established scientists." So what's the problem, Bill? Do you not believe these "established scientists"? If not, then why not? What are the possible explanations for why they are "convinced" of something for which they have, quite frankly, zilcho factual support.

And be careful of how you respond because (you have implied) they might sue you!

Interesting things happen in courtroom battles, by the way. All sorts of interesting facts come to light ...

Bill Pulliam said...

"Which is it, BIll?"

Hey folks, it's perfectly normal in scientific papers to present things directly. As it was explained to me very early in grad school, any reader implicitly knows that what the author says is based on his/her opinions and their personal knowledge, and its unnecessary (and tedious) to constantly qualify everything with "to our knowledge," "in our opinion," "we believe that," etc. Those all go without saying.

Amy Lester said...

Your strident-edness smells very fishcrowy to me.

You should here me when I argue with people about Bigfoot or Nessie.

So he LIED about this?

Either that, or he's confused, or pileated's sometimes look like that.

Given the controversy about the subject matter and extraordinary nature of the claim, it seems to me that a *reasonable thoughtful* person who fancied himself a scientist and gave a crap about the truth would ASSUME that he/she was confused until he/she had the bird in the hand, so to speak.

There's nothing at all "strident" about this. It's the website that is "strident." It's downright absurd.

It's a joke.

carpinterio real said...

The carpinterio trusts Nelson as the arbiter of that bet, but he'd perfer that the parties agree to an escrow. (in honor of fishcrow) ... no tellin' if Amy is going to implode over all this.

But Amy, why do you want DNA, why not just a picture of the birds that makes Tom Nelson happy and gets him to say "there are no more ivory bill skeptics ...

Anonymous said...

Hey Bill,

I was just kidding about the hair. Kind of reminds me of the days I could grow that much!

But yes, Bill, they need a "freekin' photo". And really isn't it about time that someone like you goes out there and puts this to rest?

Sort of the Skeptics hit squad so to speak. That's what you would be. But if you came back and said yes they are there. Then I'd try to convince all the other Skeptics for you.

But until someone with cajones goes out there instead of these bozos....well...I like a good laugh....but we need to find out if the Airport needs to be stopped.

Immediately! So come on BIll. Go!

Bill Pulliam said...

I was talking more about you destroying your own professional credibility, Amy. Hey, knock yourself out.

Yup it's the skeptics blog, and I can come here to be skeptical of the value of some of the skeptics, right?

Anonymous said...

It's the airport, stupid!

Amy Lester said...

When did it become unscientific to put your controversial data out for discussion?

It's not "unscientific" to put "controversial data" out for discussion.

It's just really really bad taste when the so-called "science" is half-assed and crappy, and the rhetoric associated with the presentation seems really loaded. Peter Duesberg might be able to explain this issue better.

The "data" itself is not "controversial." The "data" is just the "data." It's the inanity of jumping from the boring mundane "data" to the extraordinary conclusion that is pathetic and somewhat revolting in 2006.

I pointed this out plenty snarkily in an earlier thread when I mentioned the "unexplainable" parking job in the Walmart parking lot near the Florida site. Absent any objective EVIDENCE which demonstrates that the IBWO continues to live, that parked SUV is just as relevant to the extraordinary claim of these scientists as the alleged "significantly larger roosting cavities."

Amy Lester said...

But Amy, why do you want DNA, why not just a picture of the birds that makes Tom Nelson happy and gets him to say "there are no more ivory bill skeptics ...

If everything else was kosher (independently verified observation of the roosting cavity from which a fresh eggshell was found), I'd be convinced by DNA.

Not that it matters, of course.

Cornell alum said...

God bless these Auburn folks. I wonder if they're getting paid by the CLO and friends to be their whipping boys? If so, they sure are doing a great job. In any case, I'm grateful for the diversion.

Amy Lester said...

Bill

Yup it's the skeptics blog, and I can come here to be skeptical of the value of some of the skeptics, right?

Sounds like you're not taking the bet?

Too bad. You know, historically a lot of great scientists were fond of placing bets with respect to various claims. I hope that tradition hasn't fallen completely by the wayside but I forgive IBWO believers (and their apologists) for not jumping at the opportunity to prove just how "convinced" they really are.

Here's an easier question for you, Bill. In YOUR view, at what point do claims about the IBWO's continued existence begin to smell much like claims about the dodo's existence?

Do we need to wait 100 years? 200 years? 300 years?

At what point do YOU draw the line for taking seriously claims that a large loud bird is "really" extinct.

Or do we keep coddling these misguided fanatics forever?

Anonymous said...

Oh, and Bill,

Dr. Hill is saying that if any other birders come into the area they are going to tell them to go find their own playground, so to speak.

That's why you'd be so good as the Skeptic hit squad. Your ornery self wouldn't truck with such impoliteness. To say the least!!

So you are mankind's last hope on this issue, Bill. And also, the airport needs to be stopped, of course.

So when can you go?

Bill Pulliam said...

"there are no more ivory bill skeptics ..."

There will always have to be skeptics. Even if we get a National Geographic Cover money shot, there will still be 100 or 1000 or 1,000,000 bad reports for every good one.

Bill Pulliam said...

Hey, at least we have something new to talk about.

I really need to get back to sanding the dining room floor...

the carpinterio said...

The carpinterio agrees that this is the best thing that could possibly happen to Fitzcrow ... if James Gorman ever wakes up and asks what? Fitzcrow will be long gone and poor Dr. Hill will be getting the ridicule.

Actually either way this goes, Fitzcrow wins big.

Anonymous said...

"I really need to get back to sanding the dining room floor..."


Nnooooooooo! Your destiny is out there, Bill. Document Ivory-billeds or fraud. Either way you win.

You're young, full of bluff and bluster. Skilled. Articulate. Honest. Forthright. We need you in the field.

Now!

Bill Pulliam said...

If there is no indisputable photo "soon" with all the effort now being put into searching, I'll conclude that even the best 21st century reports were either (a) magnificent birding blunders or (b) the last individual vanishing into the mist. As for my own personal feelings on "soon," one or two more years to be generous.

I think lots of birders need to get off our duffs, actually, and quit leaving this up to Organizations with NDAs. Birders know how to find birds, if sufficiently motivated. Regular, ordinary, experienced hard-core birders of the sort who went through puberty getting hormonal over birds as much as over girls/boys.

Anonymous said...

And amazing story played by nuts, half-nuts, and too earnest Skeptics.

Where will it end? Where will it end?

Will the airport be built? Will fishcrow's WIKI edits survive? Will Dr. Hill be the next director of the CLO?

So many questions, so much idle time. Life is good.

Amy Lester said...

There will always have to be skeptics. Even if we get a National Geographic Cover money shot, there will still be 100 or 1000 or 1,000,000 bad reports for every good one.

Yes but being a skeptic about bird sightings per se is boring and rather pointless. I could care less if Thelma from Arkansas says that she watches IBWOs steal nuts from her squirrel feeder every weekend.

It's the well-publicized headline-garnering "official" sightings by "established" scientists that are interesting, for obvious reasons.

A National Geographic Cover money shot? Maybe the believers should start searching on golf courses in Florida. They could find the "elusive" IBWO and help OJ find the "real killer" of Nicole Simpson at the same time.

Anonymous said...

Hormonally disturbed birders have been obsessively stalking IBWOs for more than sixty years with nothing substantial to show for it. It is absurd for Bill to suggest that failure to document IBWOs is for lack of trying.

Why all the references to Dr. Hill? Hasn't he done enough already to earn the honorific hillcrow?

Bill Pulliam said...

"Maybe the believers should start searching on golf courses in Florida. "

The Guppy Man already has this territory covered.

OK, I *really* need to get back to wrk now.

P.S. rumor (oops) has it the posting today was a boo boo and the website will be posted tomorrow permanently. Maybe incorporating the criticism here, who knows?

Anonymous said...

"Hasn't he done enough already to earn the honorific hillcrow?"

I prefer the more formal, Dr. Hillcrow.

Amy Lester said...

(b) the last individual vanishing into the mist.

The CLO escape clause, which is more unlikely than the initial claim of rediscovery. Stick with "magnificent blunder," "willful self-delusion," or "intentional misrepresentation." That will cover your bases and won't make you look like a sucker.

Birders know how to find birds, if sufficiently motivated.

Extinct birds are notoriously hard to find, though, especially if all the most "likely" habitats are cordoned off by "established" scientists.

Bill Pulliam said...

Only a very small handfull of hormonally disturbed birderd have actually been spending time on IBWO hunts until very recently. Most of us have been too busy with sandpipers, Empidonax flycatchers, pelagic trips, and hybrid gulls.

Anonymous said...

"Today NRDC is joining forces with the Sierra Club, Citizens for the Bay, the Clean Water Network of Florida, and Friends of Panama City Airport to oppose plans to build a new airport on a 4,000-acre site in northwestern Bay County"

Has anyone alerted TNC yet? They seem to be missing in action here. Based on their work in Brinkley, they might want to get involved here before NRDC gets everything locked up.

It's perfect for the TNC. The Sierra Club can sue and TNC can fleece the fatcats.

All involving a bird which is apparently impossible to find and impossible to disprove. Perfect!

Anonymous said...

A year and a half of study and presumably we saw (briefly) their best today. I was particularly struck by the timing of their first sighting - within a few weeks of the Science publication I believe. I was also struck by how unremarkable the "bark scalings" appeared. Looks like enthusiasm may have gotten the best of them.

Amy Lester said...

the website will be posted tomorrow permanently. Maybe incorporating the criticism here, who knows?

Maybe the entire focus will be changed to "Statistically Significant Differences in Feeding and Roosting Habits of a Population of Florida Pileated Woodpeckers."

Wouldn't THAT be exciting????!!?!

Hoo boy. I get sweaty just thinking about it.

Anonymous said...

Bill Pulliam said...
"Only a very small handfull of hormonally disturbed birderd have actually been spending time on IBWO hunts until very recently. Most of us have been too busy with sandpipers, Empidonax flycatchers, pelagic trips, and hybrid gulls."

Bill, how are you able to determine this? I and quite a few other folks I know have followed up on IBWO reports; some of us since the 1950s, and have searched potential habitat for quite a long time. Most of us in this group are old enough that we sort of have our hormones in check now. But none of us have ever found an IBWO.

I don't care for the myth that has been perpetuated by Gallagher, Harrison, Fishcrow, et. al. that the birding community has never followed up on potential IBWO reports. Nothing could be further from the truth.

cornell alum said...

In South America I located many Campephilus woodpeckers by sight, not by double knocks, after which they were often oblivious to me, allowing close approach and lengthy observation. I find it impossible to believe that they could hear Campephilus literally dozens of times without obtaining a view long and close enough to allow them to take an identifiable photo, even if they were foolish enough to use substandard equipment. Those of us familiar with Campephilus woodpeckers were never fooled by the CLO's mischaracterization of their behavior and certainly won't fall for similar nonsense from Dr. Hillcrow et al. Large woodpeckers are relatively easy to see and photograph, given sufficient time in their habitat, and need not be tracked by their voices, feeding sign, and lairs, as if they were a cryptic nocturnal mammal. This obsession with tracking may make sense to Arkansan hunters but to real birders is as ridiculous and gratuitous as the Ghillie suits.

Anonymous said...

"Other sightings are less detailed but in all of the 13 sightings that we considered good enough to log into our records, observers saw diagnostic characteristics of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers—either a white trailing edge on the wings or shape and flight pattern characteristic of ivorybills."

What is this....CLO-lite? Or CLO redux?

Anonymous said...

"13 sightings that we considered good enough to log..."

Wouldn't you think that after the first, say five, they would have left the video cameras running?

Anonymous said...

Amy,

Since you have publicly stated your belief that the IBWO is extinct and now appear ready to wager a bet, do you believe that anybody who even bothers to look for IBWOs or study any possible "evidence" of IBWOs is utterly wasting his or her time in a non-scientific pursuit?

Anonymous said...

"In another moment down went Alice after the rabbit, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again."

Just exactly at what point did this story go down the rabbit hole? And how the heck are we going to get out?

Amy Lester said...

If we encounter birders in our study area, we will ask them to leave and suggest other areas to search

One other area to search is this cave I know about. There is no chance of confusion with a pileated because the only other flying creatures which exit the cave are monkeys.

If anyone wants more details, just ask.

Amy Lester said...

do you believe that anybody who even bothers to look for IBWOs or study any possible "evidence" of IBWOs is utterly wasting his or her time in a non-scientific pursuit?

To the extent that anyone who is looking for Sasquatch or possible "evidence" of Sasquatch is "utterly wasting his/her time in a non-scientific pursuit": yes.

But who knows, someone might stumble on Jimmy Hoffa's body or Al Capone's vault while "pursuing" unicorns. In that event, the time would not exactly be "wasted" I guess.

The real problem (and how many times does this need to be repeated? dozens? hundreds?) is PRETENDING that unbelievably crap videos, "double knocks," "tree scaling," "significantly larger roost holes," unverifiable "sightings," and/or "fantastic parking jobs" amount to evidence which suggests that IBWOs are more likely alive than not.

And that's what some scientists are doing. Those scientists suck, to put it nicely.

Anonymous said...

Amy,

Out of curiosity, are you a scientist? If so, what are your credentials? Why should I find your opinions any more credible than anyone else's?

Anonymous said...

Drs. Fitzpatrick, Remsen and Hill all have impressive publication records, yet Amy firmly believes and apparently wants us all to believe that "Those scientists suck, to put it nicely." I'm wondering just who the "scientists" are that "suck"?

Anonymous said...

"Out of curiosity, are you a scientist?"

Jesu Christo, fellow, we are all scientists here. That's why we are here. That's why this whole debacle holds such a morbid, fascinating, and hilarious hold on us.

Are you fishcrow, or what?

Anonymous said...

all sightings were of birds in
flight ...... sound familiar?

Anonymous said...

"I'm wondering just who the "scientists" are that "suck"? "

Well, you named them, Fitzcrow, Remsencrow, and Hillcrow. Whether they are published or not doesn't mean they are smart about bigfoot sightings.

Just look at Fishcrow. An armlength's list of publications. But the fellow is lost in this word that was defined by Sagan, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof".

Why is that so hard for you idiots to understand?

Anonymous said...

.....and why must Amy continually have to remind you?

Anonymous said...

To me, it's interesting how you can be a good laboratory scientist but not understand what it takes to prove an "extraordiary" claim.

It just seems to be beyond them to understand. I guess that's why UFOs held a fascination for so many people for so long.

Anonymous said...

Amy, I'm having some difficulty locating your ornithological publications. Are you by chance the author of this paper?

http://www.truscottst-p.schools.nsw.edu.au/Biodiversity/birds/Amy.html

Anonymous said...

"Are you by chance the author of this paper?"

Fishcrow is that you? Are you using the government computer for personal work?

Marcus Benkarkis said...

This is too depressing -

can we get some humor or poetry going here.

BTW - one picture, is that too much to ask for.

PS BTW - CLO redux, CLO lite, freakin plagiarism.

Amy Lester said...

Out of curiosity, are you a scientist? If so, what are your credentials? Why should I find your opinions any more credible than anyone else's?

Why not simply rebut the straightforward points I am making with a compelling argument?

This isn't about credentials. I'm not the one claiming that a handful of "established" scientists should be coddled when they engage in nonsense like the on-again/off-again website we saw earlier today.

Before I found this site, I discussed the crap Science paper with some otherwise reasonable apologists for the CLO who pulled the same card out of their hats, pretending that one needed to be an ornithologist or an experienced bird watcher to weigh in on this farce.

The interesting thing about that discussion was that these self-styled "knowledgeable" birders were basing their arguments on baloney they had been fed by the sloppy scientists who were making the bogus claims to begin with! i.e., the "distinctive" nature of the double-knocks and "wingbeat frequencies" and other post hoc horseshxt.

As for what weight you want to give my opinion, just consider this: on the day I saw the crap Science paper and the picture of a WOODEN MODEL of an IBWO on the front page of the NYT, I knew the American public was being taken for a ride by opportunists and deluded hacks.

At that time, I predicted that -- consistent with the previous 60 years of observations -- living IBWOs would never be verifiably documented in the wild.

And, with respect to this utterly trivial prediction, I was absolutely correct.

Go ahead and find someone that is more "credible" and who is actually willing to put their money where his/her mouth is. I simply can not understand why someone who is (1) "convinced" that this big loud bird exists and who is (2) "convinced" that they know where the damn thing lives would not bet, say, $1,000 that they can come up with some verifiable proof of their convictions in 1 year.

What is the problem, exactly?

Amy Lester said...

The site claimed that Brian Rolek had no fewer than 23 sound detections and 10 sightings

He must have used up a whole box of kleenex drying his tears.

Anonymous said...

I've met zoologists who by habit hold their tongues about populations of scarce critters that are remote and secure. Is everyone here sure that we know everything that has been learned/observed since Tanner?

Anonymous said...

The overemphasis on credentials rather than common sense is what got us into a debacle of this magnitude in the first place. Ornithologists are notorious for doing anything possible to protect their status so as to distinguish themselves from mere birders.

Amy Lester said...

Is everyone here sure that we know everything that has been learned/observed since Tanner?


What lessons and observations are you referring to exactly?

Anonymous said...

HI:
From what I have heard the official news release comes tomorrow along with publication of the scientific paper.

Anonymous said...

As Anon wrote: "Ornithologists are notorious for doing anything possible to protect their status so as to distinguish themselves from mere birders."

Pardon my laughter, but Amy Lester has certainly distinguished herself. So which camp does that put her in?!

Amy Lester said...

From the birdforum Tom linked to:

By finding those birds in Florida, Geoff Hill and Co. have proved that they are quality observers by my definition, which is based on results.

What birds? "Those birds."

You know, "those birds" that are big and noisy but which have learned to avoid photographers like the plague since the 1940s.

Yeah. Those birds.

Stevev said...

Anonymous said...
The overemphasis on credentials rather than common sense is what got us into a debacle of this magnitude in the first place. Ornithologists are notorious for doing anything possible to protect their status so as to distinguish themselves from mere birders.


So now FIshcrow and Amy are agreeing with each other - I never thought I'd see the day !

Anonymous said...

Even a madman from Stennis is right twice a day.

Anonymous said...

While this latest batch of "evidence" is a far cry from proof, it is impressive that they would put all their sound recordings, and tree and cavity photos online for us to see and hear. Its also interesting to see a couple of sight records with more than one field mark seen--ie. the underwing pattern. This is more than we've seen from Cornell. Some of the other "evidence"--ie. the Hill "sighting" seems more wishful thinking.

The question is...if you were conducting research on songbirds in the South, as these two Auburn grad students were, and you saw a large woodpecker with what looked like the underwing pattern of an Ivory-billed Woodpecker, and then you got repeated double knocks, and kent calls, and saw lots of scaling and large cavities...what would you do? Just walk away? While not getting photos seems crazy insane, what should you do if you think you've seen something like this?

I can't fault these guys for putting out their evidence. It may be career suicide, but they obviously think they are on to something. If it turns out that more research shows that nothing is there...if they can confirm double-knocks and kent calls coming from other species, then they will have further put the nail in the coffin of Ivory-billed Woodpecker dreamers--which will be a good thing if the species is really gone. If further searching does reveal real living Ivory-billed Woodpeckers--we'll all be surprised and happy.

While I'm not willing to take Amy's $1,000 bet...I'm willing to let guys like Hill knock themselves out to follow up on this possible "evidence" and wish them the best.

Anonymous said...

I believe these same birds are in Hudson, Fl. area and I also have some pictures of the birds.