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Breaking Ivory-billed Woodpecker “News”

by Bryan on April 24th, 2012

I might understand something like this from FOX News. But from a CBS affiliate? How the mighty have fallen.

UPDATE (9:00 Eastern): KLTV issues its clarification.

  1. Hummingbird permalink

    Snowy Owl, I noticed the same thing! Clearly a Red-Headed Woodpecker leaving the tree on first sight, then a Pileated Woodpecker on the second shot. Very sadly, not an Ivory-Billed.

  2. Hi Ricka, I agree on the human side to this story. I’m with you there. But I’ve got no sympathy for the TV station. They missed the human story. It would have been so easy to verify this. And they didn’t even notice that they had footage of two woodpecker species: Red-headed Woodpecker and Pileated Woodpecker. Perhaps I shouldn’t expect better from TV?

  3. Aww. Maybe you’re being a bit too hard on CBS. There’s a human story beyond the question of a scientifically documented rare bird sighting. Here’s a person newly awestruck by something he never knew was potentially awe-worthy, in his own “backyard.” What other sightings in nature might he come to notice and appreciate more now, as a result? (Well, besides the reward money flyer.) As someone outside the deeply-knowledgable birder fold, but learning to see as they see, I can relate a little to this goony-bird’s excitement.

  4. Yeah, I did indeed notice both woodpeckers (not counting the IBWO). It’s illustrative of how folks who don’t see wildlife REALLY don’t see wildlife. It’s like some sort of blank for them.

  5. Did you notice? There are two species of woodpecker in the video (not counting IBWO). First, a Red-headed Woodpecker, then a Pileated.

  6. Mark permalink

    I can’t believe these news people swallowed that story. I think showing the tape to any birder in the area, even one of modest experience, would have set them straight. I do have to agree with the “orinthologist,” though, it is a beautiful bird. But if it’s an Ivory-Billed, I’m the queen of Romania.

  7. Jane Schlossberg permalink

    Yeah, I thought I heard “orinthologist”, too. Guess that $50,000 is still up for grabs, poor fellow.
    Guess those high falootin’ news reporters sure are eatin’ crow. Couldn’t believe they didn’t even acknowledge the difference between the red-headed and the pileated…
    If one of them orinthologists couldn’t be found, there’s always something called a book…but I’ll end before I get carried away.

  8. Yeah, those orinthologists know burds.

  9. Ron Payne permalink

    They should have consulted an “orinthologist.”

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