RESOURCES: Woodpecker Watch

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Science  01 Jul 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5731, pp. 27
DOI: 10.1126/science.309.5731.27e

Even kindergartners will probably be keeping an eye out for the ivory-billed woodpecker (Campephilus principalis) after observers this spring reported that the bird, thought to be extinct, hangs on in the swamps of eastern Arkansas (Science, 3 June, p. 1460). If you're setting out to look for one or think you've caught a glimpse, consult this site hosted by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in Ithaca, New York, which is collecting reports of sightings. You'll find tips on how to distinguish the bird from the similar pileated wood-pecker (Dryocopus pileatus), which is usually smaller and sports dark, not white, trailing edges on the wings. The site also offers extensive background on the ivory-bill's decline, including footage from a 1935 expedition to northern Louisiana that made the first recordings of the woodpecker's calls.

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