I always thought that Cornell actaully knew where an ivory-billed woodpecker was but was keeping it under wraps. How many birders would come from not only the United States, but around the world to see this bird. Looks like I wasn't just another conspiracy theorist after all, this is from NPR:
Morning Edition, April 28, 2005 · A group of wildlife scientists
believe the ivory-billed woodpecker is not extinct. They say they have
made seven firm sightings of the bird in central Arkansas. The landmark
find caps a search that began more than 60 years ago, after biologists
said North America’s largest woodpecker had become extinct in the
The large, showy bird is an American legend -- it disappeared when the
big bottomland forests of North America were logged, and relentless
searches have produced only false alarms. Now, in an intensive
year-long search in the Cache River and White River national wildlife
refuges involving more than 50 experts and field biologists working
together as part of the Big Woods Partnership, an ivory-billed male has
been captured on video.
"We have solid evidence, there are solid sightings, this bird is here,"
says Tim Barksdale, a wildlife photographer and biologist.
For an NPR/National Geographic Radio Expeditions story, NPR science
correspondent Christopher Joyce joined the search last January along
Arkansas’ White River, where a kayaker spotted what he believed to be
an ivory-billed woodpecker more than a year ago. Many other similar
sightings over the last 60 years have raised false hopes.
But this time, Joyce reports that experts associated with the Cornell
Laboratory of Ornithology in New York and The Nature Conservancy were
able to confirm the sighting. They kept the find a secret for more than
a year, partly to give conservation groups and government agencies time
to protect the bird’s habitat.
The Nature Conservancy has been buying and protecting land along the
White and Cache Rivers for years, along with the state and the federal
Fish and Wildlife Service. Since the discovery, they've bought more
land to protect the bird.