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kravmonkey

kravmonkey

Currently reading

Take Down
James Swain
Leading an Inspired Life
Jim Rohn
Shadow Of The Titanic
Andrew Wilson
The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft
H.P. Lovecraft, Leslie S. Klinger, Alan Moore
The Emperor's Blades
Brian Staveley
Grave Peril
Jim Butcher
Words of Radiance
Brandon Sanderson
11/22/63
Stephen King
Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil
Tom Mueller
You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You're Deluding Yourself
David McRaney

The Grail Bird: Hot on the Trail of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker

The Grail Bird: Hot on the Trail of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker - Tim Gallagher This book's mission is to make you believe that the Ivory Billed Woodpecker, thought to be extinct since late last century, is in fact still flapping its way around in the swamps of southeastern U.S.A.

A team from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology made the short, blurry film of a large bird flying in a remote swamp and caused a rare controversy in the birding community. What followed the release of the film clip was a flurry of activity in that part of the country where hopeful birders "flocked" for a chance to see a true lazarus species (a species that is mistakenly thought to be be extinct only to be "rediscovered" again). No one claimed success and it's fair to say that this claim is without any merit.

The book tries to build a case for the Ivory Bill's continued existence by first laying out all the reasons why you should in fact be skeptical. Next, after laying that foundation, the book shifts gears and attempts to elicit sympathy from the reader by explaining how Ivory Bill populists are widely dismissed, ostracized by the birding community as wackos, and should given more of a chance.

The book is ultimately unconvincing but you have to admire the passion and dedication the author and his team bring to the party. I don't personally think there will ever be definitive proof that Ivory Bills still exist. Based on the available evidence I am firmly in the camp that believes that this magnificent bird is no longer among us. Tragic as it is, sometimes you just have to let go.