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Friday, March 17, 2006

Sibley essay on The Nature Conservancy Site

The Nature Conservancy has put up a fine essay by David Sibley detailing his views on the Ivory-billed Woodpecker search, conservation of the Big Woods, and why he came forward with his recent article questioning the video evidence for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker's existence. I've only birded with David a couple of times--twice on a dike at Cape May in 1995 where he amazed me by calling out the ID of warblers as they streamed by overhead, and once at Hornsby Bend when he came to Austin on a book tour. In person, as well as in writing, he is soft-spoken and very careful. I'm glad his article and essay are out, and hope that they inspire us all to be careful, but also to take appropriate action, as we move forward in trying to protect the birds that we have in our care. If Ivory-bills still exist, they deserve all we can do to keep them around. Their current or former habitat--whatever the case may be--also deserves protection.

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