Monday, September 19, 2005

What does the future hold?

Maybe Cornell will capture the definitive Ivory-bill video tomorrow. It could happen, but I doubt it. Right now, if you asked me "What's your confidence level that there was a living Ivory-bill in Arkansas in 2004?", I'd say "Less than 5%".

Nobody knows what the future holds, but if I had to guess, I'd say this about the next twelve months:
One year from today, we will still have no definitive proof of an Ivory-bill. Unverifiable sightings will continue; more low-quality photos and/or video will be captured, and inconclusive kents and double-knocks will surely be heard and recorded. Someone from outside the Cornell team may try to manufacture some evidence.

Public euphoria over Cornell's reported Ivory-bill rediscovery will wane. One or more critical papers will be published, and the public will eventually place little value on the evidence described in Cornell's Science paper. Massive numbers of birders will not travel to the Cache River area to look for the Ivory-bill.

By 9/19/06, believers will remain, but their ranks will be much thinner than today. Some will seriously speculate that the "Ivory-bill" sighted in Arkansas in 2004 was truly the last of his breed.
Of course, I may be completely wrong.