Posted by: Loren Coleman on January 22nd, 2010
The photographs have not been released yet, but this press release has been:
Daniel Rainsong Finds Living Ivory-Billed Woodpecker!
By Joe Hepperle
On December 29, 2009, Daniel Rainsong found and photographically documented a living Ivory-Billed Woodpecker in the southern Sabine River basin. The bird was again spotted and photographed a second time, later. Assisting at different times in this organized search (Project Indigo) were Rita Goldstein and CheyAnna Donaldson. Daniel Rainsong spent 30 days (Dec 2009-Jan 2010) in specific predetermined locations in the Southern Sabine River basin in search of the Ivory-Billed woodpecker.
Once the master of the trees in the Southern old-growth forests, the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker was believed to be possibly extinct for decades. The last known uncontested sighting was in the first half of the last century. Since then there have been sporadic unconfirmed ‘one-off’ sightings in various locations of the Southern United States. A supposed ‘rediscovery’ was claimed in 2004, but efforts to confirm that alleged discovery proved fruitless. A small core group from that 2004 search, who have a vested interest, still believe — apparently on faith alone — that the alleged 2004 sighting was real.
The Ivory-Billed Woodpecker has a look-alike cousin known as the Pileated woodpecker. The Pileated is not extinct and inhabits the same areas once ruled by the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker. There are enough differences between the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker and its cousin, the Pileated Woodpecker, to distinguish one from the other. Mistaken-identity sightings are the cause of most alleged modern Ivory-Billed sightings. Mr. Rainsong has seen the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker’s cousin, the Pileated Woodpecker, many times. Mr. Rainsong is aware of the differences and he is confident that he would not mistake one bird for the other.
Daniel Rainsong now has photographs to prove this new sighting. The photographs proving this new find are being sequestered to protect Mr. Rainsong’s right of claim in this discovery. After Mr. Rainsong’s rights in this discovery have been established and protected, the photographs will then be released to the public.
Released (allegedly) in conjunction with
Dr. James Van Remsen, Louisiana State University
Dr. Jerome A. Jackson, Florida Gulf Coast University
Dr. John M. Burnett, Department of Natural Resources
Dr. Stephen J. Dinsmore, Iowa State University ornithologist
Cornell University, Department of Ornithology
Daniel Rainsong plans to issue his official report through Iowa State University with Dr. Dinsmore. Mr. Rainsong studied under Dr. Dinsmore’s father, Dr. James Dinsmore, at Iowa State University in the 1980s.