ivory-billed woodpecker

(redirected from Ivory-billed)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

ivory-billed woodpecker,

common name for the largest of the North American woodpeckers, Campephilus principalis. Once plentiful in Southern hardwood forests, it was believed to be extinct or nearing extinction after 1952. The last known members of this species had been reported from the deepest forests of NW Florida and central Louisiana, and there were no confirmed sightings after 1944 until 2004, when one may have been spotted in an E Arkansas swamp. The Arkansas evidence, however, has been criticized by a number of ornithologists as ambiguous.

A shiny blue-black in color with extensive white markings on its wings and neck, this bird is distinguished by its pure white bill and by a prominent top crest, red in the male and black in the female. A true woodpeckerwoodpecker,
common name for members of the Picidae, a large family of climbing birds found in most parts of the world. Woodpeckers typically have sharp, chisellike bills for pecking holes in tree trunks, and long, barbed, extensible tongues with which they impale their insect
..... Click the link for more information.
, it has a strong and straight chisellike bill and a long, mobile, hard-tipped, sticky tongue. It measures from 18 to 20 in. (46–51 cm) in length, with short legs and feet ending in large, curved claws. The ivory-bill deposits from three to five glossy white eggs per clutch in an unlined hole, preferably drilled in a cypress tree. Of its reproductive habits little more than this is known.

The decrease in the number of ivory-bills may be largely blamed on the cutting and eventual disappearance of the trees in which they lived. It is not known how many ivory-bills may survive today in the forests of the S United States and in Cuba. Ivory-billed woodpeckers are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
..... Click the link for more information.
, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Piciformes, family Picidae.


See T. Gallagher, The Grail Bird (2005).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
We can only speculate today, but everything from barred owls to wood ducks most likely evolved to suit the engineering handy work of the old ivory-billed woodpecker.
The work recounts a search Tanner and his colleagues conducted in the 1930s for the already feared extinct Ivory-billed Woodpecker, the "ghost bird." Bayles, a naturalist at the Ijams Nature Center in knoxville, Tennessee, chronicles the search through the southern states towards a dire prediction from Tanner about the future of the bird.
This study confirms range extensions of melodious blackbird and ivory-billed woodcreeper, noted by Garza-Torres et al.
In bogus interviews with an Arkansas mayor, sheriff and pastor, the latter claims that the apparent return of the ivory-billed woodpecker after six decades is the answer to a dying town's prayers.
THE IVORY-BILLED WOODPECKER has fascinated the public since Native Americans used the bird's skins to carry medicine bundles and traded its remains as far north as Canada.
That rule shouldn't apply to Geoffrey Hill, the Auburn University ornithologist whose small band of swamp scientists last year reported sightings and recordings of ivory-billed woodpeckers, presumed extinct since 1944, in the Florida panhandle.
One consequence of the supposed sighting in 2004 was a wide-spread rhapsody about the "Lord God bird." It was reported over and over that the "Lord God bird" was a kind of unofficial nickname for the ivory-billed woodpecker.
Since then, numerous search parties have been launched to comb that patch of forest for more evidence of the bird's existence, and scientists have been examining the video frame by frame and debating whether it really depicts an ivory-billed woodpecker or just a more common, similar-looking pileated woodpecker.
Last April, scientists announced that an ivory-billed woodpecker, last seen in 1944, had been spotted in an Arkansas swamp forest on more than eight occasions.
Reports that the ivory-billed woodpecker, long thought to be extinct, is still with us thrilled bird watchers and others, but this sort of second chance seldom occurs in nature.
Up at 5 o'clock to get ready for work, she awoke to the National Public Radio broadcast that broke the story of the ivory-billed woodpecker's return.
Allen, a well known ornithologist and field biologist, and one of the few ornithologists to do field research on the Ivory-billed Woodpecker.