This time last year, almost all of us had no clue there were ivory-billed woodpeckers out there. Although, I always kept a pet conspiracy theory that the Ziess search down in Louisiana had been successful but all the participants involved kept quiet that they found the bird feeling that was the dignified thing to do and best thing for it.
It was announced last spring that the ivory-billed was found and of course all sorts of debates have started up and my personal favorite right now is the poll going on Mike Hendrickson's blog. A man who dares to blog (and quite frankly say to your face-you gotta admire that) things the rest of us would never dream of making public but may question in the back of our minds.
We all have a our personal theories of whether or not this duck sized woodpecker is out there. I think it is, but that could be my optimistic nature more than trusting scientific fact. Well, a couple of months ago when Cornell announced they were looking for volunteers, I tossed my hat in the ring thinking that of all the people who would apply for the volunteer gig would be WAY better at field work than myself. I even talked myself out of it after I hit send in my email account, I mean come on--humidity, poisonous snakes, mosquitoes, physically demanding work--I'm not that kind of birder! Well, last night I got an email saying that my application is selected and I'm slated to go look on a Cornell team for the ivory-billed woodpecker in early December. I'm still in shock, I hardly slept at all last night. It's one thing to toss your theories around with birding buddies at a bar but now to be invited to go is, well, just WOW. I have to talk with Eagle Optics to make sure this is okay but despite all the discomfort it truly sounds like one hell of an adventure to go into a giant swamp. Even if I don't see the famed woodpecker in question the area sounds amazing. There are literally hundreds of woodpeckers in the area of all different species. Wouldn't it be worth it just to go to see tons and tons of pileated woodpeckers, sapsuckers, red-headed woodpeckers...I'm still in shock. At the very least this should make for interesting blogging material. But rest assured this will not become a debate about who is right and who is wrong in this whole woodpecker broo ha ha, but I will be writing my experiences.
Life is so weird. For sure, it is light years away from where I was this time last year. I feel like Peewee Herman--the luckiest boy in the world.