The Ivory-billed Woodpecker has proven itself to be the most elusive bird in North America. The inability of the very capable Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology team to find in Arkansas a roost or nest hole where clear and indisputable photographs, video and audio recordings would finally put to rest the controversy of the birds return from extinction clearly demonstrates the bird as the most elusive of any ever pursued by man kind.
The ornithology community has become divided into believers and non-believers and the positions are becoming entrenched in a fashion reminiscent of a Holy War. We have seen the raw footage of David Luneau. We have heard the accounts of Tim Gallager and Bobby Harrison. We have heard the story of Guy Luneau regarding his wife’s sighting. We have read the accounts of recent reports from the Florida Panhandle. We are believers.
We have heard a few stories of Ivory-billed sightings in Texas in the twenty-first century. We have observed and documented scaling which seems most logically to be made by Ivory-billed Woodpeckers. Bill Holliday has recorded double knocks which cannot be dismissed as possibly having been made by Ivory-bill Woodpeckers in Texas. Some of these and their analysis are posted on Bill Holliday's website. We have assessed habitat. We are believers of the bird’s presence in Texas. We have not yet managed a personal sighting or to obtain definitive proof, but we have enough first hand observations of habitat for us to believe we should continue to search and strive for indisputable proof of the birds presence in Texas. We believe that we or someone else will eventually provide undisputable proof of the species existence and it might well come from Texas as soon as any other location. Eventually we believe the species will be documented along several river courses in Texas.
If we adopt the premise that Ivory-bills are still present in Texas, then just what might the population currently be and what might its long term potential in Texas be. This article will accept that premise and speculate on the current and potential population in Texas.
Full article: The 2007 Ivory-billed Woodpecker Population in Texas (1.5 MB PDF)