The first rule about the Cornell Ivory-billed Woodpecker Search is you do not talk about the Ivory-billed Woodpecker Search. The second rule about the Cornell Ivory-billed Woodpecker Search is you do not talk about the Ivory-billed Woodpecker Search. The third rule about the Cornell Ivory-billed Woodpecker Search is you do not talk about the Ivory-billed Woodpecker Search.
Well, I spent the last few weeks trying to determine what I can talk about while I'm down for two weeks in December about the ivory-billed search--nothing. What is going on is a systematic scientific search, releasing information too soon could compromise the gathering of data and worse could potentially be harmful to the overall benefit of any ivory-bills still down there.
However, there is a silver lining to the cloud! I will be able to talk and write (and a few other things) about the looking for the ivory-bill when the official search is complete, most likely in April. I'm so excited! I get to be part of an official scientific search with Cornell and create some exciting stuff that may show up on Cornell's website as well as Eagle Optics and of course birdchick.
I think blogging about my experience while I was down there was a tad unrealistic anyway since it sounds like where I will be has no internet access and my cell phone might work if I stand on top of a levee. So, I'm delighted to announce that I will have a guest blogger while I'm gone for two weeks in December. I couldn't ask for a better (or sassier) guest than Julie Zickefoose! For years she has been one of my favorite writers in Bird Watcher's Digest and many have seen her gorgeous paintings have been featured on the cover. She is who I want to be if and when I ever grow up...mostly because she hasn't quite grown up herself. She should have some fun and interesting things to say, although there is a slight difference between us (besides her massive amount of artistic talent). I am married to a Non Birding Bill and she is married to a Birding Bill. I'm curious how the other half lives.
On a side note Julie offered to design my next tattoo. She offered an ivory-billed woodpecker, but I had never seen one and at the time of the conversation had no plans to go look for one. I wanted a pileated since that was the bird that got me really interested in birding when I was a wee seven year old (who am I kidding, even at 31 I'm still wee). Besides, there are lots of bird tattoos: eagles, swallows, even Woody Woodpecker for cryin' out loud, but I have yet to see an accurate pileated on someone's body. Well, perhaps I will hold off to decide. If I see an ivory-bill, I'll get that for a tattoo. If I don't see it, I'll resort to the original pileated plan.