Saturday, September 16, 2006

AOU Ivory-bill presentations!

I'm wondering if the grand "Nine pairs of Ivory-bills in Florida!!" rumor will boil down to something more like "Double-knockies heard in Florida".

John Trapp emailed me the following information:
I believe that the last time you mentioned anything
about the program for next month’s North American
Ornithological Congress was back on July 4th, when you reported finding no mention of IBWOs on the program. I noticed just today that the program now includes the following two papers on IBWOs:

Use of time-lapse surveillance cameras in the search
for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker (by J. R. Hill III, R.
Rohrbaugh, M. D. Luneau, M. Lammertink, and E.
Swarthout)

The double knock of Campephilus woodpeckers: what
should an Ivory-billed Woodpecker sound like? (by G.
E. Hill, D. J. Mennill, B. Rolek, T. Hicks, and K.
Swiston)

The program is available here (PDF format; 2.4MB).
A few Google searches turned up this Auburn site, where there is a Dr. Geoffrey Hill, an M.S. student named Brian Rolek, and a list of alumni including Dr. Daniel Mennill. Note that Auburn could be described as a major southeastern university located near the Florida panhandle.

Mennill's name is linked to a University of Windsor homepage here; one of Mennill's graduate students here is named Kyle Swiston. This graduate student position is currently available at the Mennill Lab.

24 comments:

Methinks said...

Alrighty...I hear talk (now from 3 very different sources) that there is to be a presentation at AOU by the grad student who claims the multiple pairs in Florida. He missed the paper deadline, and wouldn't put in a poster, but two people told me that they are giving him space somewhere else.

I gotta say, this is the oddest thing in this whole debacle. A grad student claims to have multiple sightings and audio evidence, and can't get it together to present a paper - hangs out in what, the shadowy world of the IBWO researchers.....I'm imagining a dark hallway filled with snakes and bugs, like a Louisiana Swamps Funhouse.

Anyway, I'll post more as people leak more. Or, one of us could just call that nice head of the recovery team and see what is up.

Anonymous said...

A grad student claims to have multiple sightings and audio evidence

No really, I saw them! There were lots and lots of them! I've been watching them for months. I just can't seem to get a good photo. I can't really PROVE anything. But trust me. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

If methinks is getting the right scoop, then we are truly entering the world of Bizarro Superman. An alternate universe where science is anecdote and where black is white.

Where "black is white"...hmmmm....well that would explain a lot of the sightings!

Anonymous said...

Hold it Skeptics! I smell a rat. A graduate student trying to get my $10,000 reward!

I am the first to boldly predict 7 pairs of IBWO's would soon be found. Ok, I said Texas. And I still believe Texas.

So clearly someone is just trying to get a claim in. Trying to muddy the discovery waters, so to speak. No photos! Phooooey!

My claim still stands as the first. Graduate students.......huurmph...

.....sniff.......

TB

Anonymous said...

I can understand a skeptic that looks at data presented and finds it wanting. What we have here is rumored data that is cynically questioned before it is even presented.

What will you do if it turns out to be a slam-dunk confirmation of IBWO? Will you continue the destructive cynicism or try to turn yourselves around and make a positive contribution?

Anonymous said...

What will you do if it turns out to be a slam-dunk confirmation of IBWO? Will you continue the destructive cynicism or try to turn yourselves around and make a positive contribution?

hahahahahahahahahahahaha
ahahahahahahahahahah

That was a good one. Slam-dunk confirmation.

ahahahahahahahahahahaha

Please, stop the jokes. You're killing me.

Anonymous said...

This will be a lot more fun when they give us the blurry video to disect.

Anonymous said...

This will be a lot more fun when they give us the blurry video to disect. Be fair now. It could be blurry photos.

It will have the True Believers sobbing, and the rest of the world scratching their heads.

Anonymous said...

I had heard independently that the source of panhandle birds was Auburn.

I'll wait to see what is offered as evidence, it should be interesting.

What also will be interesting is to see Cornell's public assessment/comment if the evidence is weak.

Anonymous said...

I was watching hawk migration in southwest Ontario yesterday, and if I remember correctly a few of these good folks from the University of Windsor spotted a couple of Loggerhead Shrike near Leamington…darn good find. Alan Wormington hails fom Leamington (bio posted by Tom a few weeks back). Perhaps southwest Ontario is becoming a hotbed of IBWO optimism. Anybody know?

Are small schools thinking that IBWO enthusiasm is a ticket to the top?

Anonymous said...

"Are small schools thinking that IBWO enthusiasm is a ticket to the top? "

No, Auburn has a devastating paper saying that other "organisms" make double-knocks and kents.

It's just that simple. Sheesh. You folks. Quit seeing UFOs, OK?

Anonymous said...

Auburn a small school? Don't tell that to the Round Mound of Rebound. Charles Barkley knows slam-dunk confirmation!

Why are we cynics still so destructive? If they really have IBWOs shouldn't they announce it at a patriotic press conference in the US of A with top Republicans and flags present, and giving due credit to state and federal agencies, like the CLO did, rather than at a scientific meeting in Mexico? And isn't the second conservation discovery of the millenium worthy of at least an official poster if they must present their data to scientists first rather than to a far more important audience? And haven't we wasted enough time on useless audio evidence at this point?

Anonymous said...

So, the rumour mill is saying that Hill (of Auburn) will "announce" the IBWO has been found in the panhandle of FLA (in some watershed called, something like, the Choctawhatchee near the Roaring Cutoff and Morrison Spring) a week from Monday.

There is a crappy video, field notes so good that they seem pre-recorded, and further reports of kayaks alsmost colliding with an IBWO.

How this is related to the Grad Student in the hallway at the AOU is not yet known, but I still like the vision of the Louisiana Swamp funhouse.

I gotta go Anon on this one.

Oh Boy!

Anonymous said...

Wait, there's more. The kayak DID hit the IBWO. It left an impression in the side of the kayak that perfectly matches the bill of and IBWO. This is based on a museum specimen that was brought to the kayak and matched with the dent.

The bad news is that the bird was killed by the kayak collision and sank to the bottom of the river. Thinking quickly the biologists placed and "X" on the spot of the river, on the bottom of course. So that they could come back and try to retrieve the body as proof.

So X marks the spot. Rain is expected for this week, but they will go back in when it quits.

I will pass on anymore info when I get a chance.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I found it. Morrison springs is in the center of the map with the X. The Cutoff is down the river where it parts to make an “O”. The left side of the O is the cutoff.

Let’s try to get a group of Skeptics out there to spot 10 pairs. We can do this people. We will trump them before the AOU big announcement.


Morrison springs

Anonymous said...

Some of you skeptics sound so bitter.

Wouldn't discovery of ivorybills be great news, or is more important for you to be right?

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't discovery of ivorybills be great news, or is more important for you to be right?

Actually it's just the opposite.

It's more important for the discovery of Ivorybills to be right, and for you believers to make it news.

Anonymous said...

Ok, Skeptics. And Believers. Your TB says we should all just take a deep breath here.

Dr. Hill of Auburn in an eminent ornithologist. He has a great reputation. There is no way that he is going to let some grad student announce 9 pairs of IBWO based on his sight records and some audio.

Not after the CLO debacle. Now I admit that my hero Dr. Fitzpatrick sort of let me down on that whole Arkansas affair.

But I ask you...what ornithologist with a good reputation is ever ever ever again going to announce IBWO without a heck of a great photo, video, DNA, and Sibley eye-witness encounter? Huh? Yeah...NONE!!!!

Now either the rumours are bogus. Gee...wonder what the odds of that is! And Dr. Hill, et all is just going to discuss a paper on double-knocky things as Tom suspects.

Or as Cyberthrush says confirmed sighting are going to be announced with rather poor documentation. I can assure you that with Dr. Hill's reputation that will NOT happen.

TB

Anonymous said...

What will you do if it turns out to be a slam-dunk confirmation of IBWO? Will you continue the destructive cynicism or try to turn yourselves around and make a positive contribution?

Those of us who are skeptical of the "evidence" produced thus far will shout "FINALLY!", loudly and with great joy.

CLO's original paper, follow-up paper, and subsequent pushing of garbage as proof positive will still suck. If dozens of IBWO populations are found, that won't change.

Hopefully there will be a real announcement some day by somebody who remembers the basics of scientific research, rather than bad video analysis and cardboard wings.

Anonymous said...

A party of intrepid birders just left Houston going to Morrison Spring. Will make it there tomorrow morning. They are loaded with Kayaks and waders.

I kid you not. This rumor is totally out of hand. They wanted to go before the place was shut down by the feds.

We are in the silly season folks.

Anonymous said...

I hope they brought cameras too!

Anonymous said...

I hope they brought cameras too!

Damn, I forgot to ask!!

Anonymous said...

What will you do if it turns out to be a slam-dunk confirmation of IBWO?

Train the monkeys that flew out of my butt to deliver flowers. I'll call them MonkeyGrams(TM).

Anonymous said...

Cameras? Not a chance. OR - they will take them, but not out in the field because they might get wet. OR - they take them, but forget to take off the lens cap. OR - they will take photos, but the bird will be fuzzy/too far away. OR - they will get great photos, but the camera will be stolen on the way home...

The stories of sightings will be amazing, but the excuses for not getting proof will be endless...