8 Dec 2012
IN SEARCH OF IVORY BILLED WOODPECKERS
Have you seen a very large woodpecker in your area? If so, it could make you famous and grateful among ornithologists. In 2006 a reward was offered for information leading to the discovery of an Ivory Billed Woodpecker nest, roost or feeding site. In December, 2008 the Cornell Lab of Ornithology announced a reward if you could lead a project biologist to a living Ivory Billed Woodpecker.
Why are they so interested? This critter is the biggest woodpecker in the US and one of the largest birds in the world. Standing about 20” tall and having a wing span of nearly 30” it should be easy to spot BUT there’s a catch. Having formerly resided in swamp bottomlands from North Carolina to East Texas, it is believed that it went extinct as early as the 1920s. However, there have been confirmed and not confirmed sightings as recently as 2010. But no one knows where they might be now.
So keep watching for this illusive and amazing bird. We need to know if there are any out there. If you see one be sure to get a photo or video!!!
A bit about the other types of woodpeckers. The ones you are more likely to see if you put out birdfeeders for them. Where do you live? Did you know that there are 16 types of woodpeckers in North America plus a few types of sapsuckers and some flicker species.
If you are in the American Rockies you’ll probably see Black Backed Woodpeckers and Three-Toed Woodpeckers. Residents throughout Canada and the US will see the Downy Woodpecker and the Hairy Woodpecker (most likely to be seen in the Southern States).
The largest Woodpecker (other than that big old Ivory Billed) found across Canada and the Eastern States is the Pileated Woodpecker. In the South Eastern portions of Canada and US’s Eastern States folks will enjoy the Red-Headed Woodpecker and the Red-Bellied Woodpecker. The South East States (especially Florida) are the home to the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker which is endangered.
Many types of woodpeckers may be seen in the Central States and into the Western Regions of the US and Mexico. Those critters include the Ladder-Backed, the Lewis’s, Acorn, Gila, Arizona, Golden-Fronted and Nuttall’s Woodpeckers.
If you’d like to attract woodpeckers to your yard please see our feeders and other miscellaneous items to enhance your backyard birdwatching.
Sources: wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivory-billed_Woodpecker, http://www.birds-of-north-america.net/woodpeckers.html, http://www.birds.cornell.edu/ivory/