I woke this morning to the strangely thrilling news that the ivory-billed woodpecker may not be extinct. I’ve been aware of ivory-bills from my childhood; I have a vague memory (Mom can check me on this) that the family copy of Roger Tory Peterson’s A Field Guide to the Birds included a picture of the ivory-bill beside the pileated woodpecker, with a pencilled “X” beside it. (Margaret and I saw a pileated woodpecker in our neighbor’s back yard in Princeton; it was a wonderful, exciting moment.)
And from the sublime to a pond in Germany, toads are exploding for no discernible reason. “[C]ity residents have been warned to stay away from the pond” — advice that I imagine is pretty easy to obey.
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Biblical/theological take on exploding toads? Sign of the apocalypse? Tipping point?
I think this is one of the subjects that should be given 360 degree blogospheric coverage on MSNBC. Perhaps they might offer you a spot! ;^)
It Might Be Important!
(On a related note, there was a wonderful story on the ivory-billed woodpecker on Morning Edition today. Though I’m sure this news will be used in some quarters to disparage environmentalists, the Endangered Species Act, and global climate change.)
There was a long essay in the New Yorker a couple of years ago about researcher’s efforts to document whether or not that woodpecker is extinct.
I don’t remember the illustration in Peterson’s, but I don’t doubt it. I think the “find” is very exciting but I hope all the thousands of Birdwatchers who want to see him and go flocking to Arkansas don’t scare him to death!
Great news! I’m a bird rehabber during the summer months, and am always interested in news like this. I’ve seen many pileateds lately, in fact, which were at one time rare around here. I think the environmental regulations have had an effect, actually.
Amazing that the ivory-billed species could go “underground” for more than 50 years, though. I wonder why none have been seen in all that time?
For more information on the Pileated Woodpecker, visit “Pileated Woodpecker Central” – http://www.pileatedwoodpeckercentral.com