For those of you interested in the emerging debate over whether the
ivory-billed woodpecker evidence reported a couple of months ago can be
considered definitive or inconclusive, please see the URLs below.
I have to admit that when I first saw the evidence provided by the
Cornell team I was less than bowled over. I lived in Scotland for 30-odd
years and I have seen photographs of the Loch Ness Monster that are more
convincing than the still from the ivory-bill video! If I had seen a
possible ivory bill in VT and taken the same video and sent it to the
Bird Records Committee I am sure that it would have been rejected as
inconclusive, as it should be. Seems from the URLs that Sibley and
Kaufman, among other luminaries, have similar reservations.
This is NOT to say that the ivory bills are not still extant, only that
the evidence published thus far is not as conclusive as it could be. As
Carl Sagan used to say: if you are making extraordinary scientific
claims, you must have extraordinarily good evidence to back them up (he
was refering to little green men visiting the Earth). I, for one, don't
think that we are there yet. Lets hope, that better, more conclusive,
evidence will be presented soon.
Hector Galbraith PhD
Galbraith Environmental Sciences LLC
837 Camp Arden Rd., Dummerston, VT05301
802 365 9119 (phone)