Are you desperate to find the perfect gift for that birder who seems to have everything, except for an ivory-billed woodpecker on their life list? Then, The Ivory-bill Nest (870-734-5001) is the shop for you! They do not have a website up yet, so if you see something in this entry you really like, you will need to give them a call.
Besides all the ivory-bill eating and sleeping that can be done in Brinkley, there are also all the shopping opportunities. This shop had a wide and fun (and kinda odd) selection of products all dedicated to the awe-inspiring logcock. Products ranged from hats, shirts, purses, paintings, lucky charms (not the cereal), earrings, notecards, etc. I haven't seen merchandising like this since Pikachu.
In talking with Lisa the owner, she was very interested in our experience with the local people in and around Brinkley. Overall everyone was very nice. She asked about hunters and for the most part they were incredibly friendly--I myself was often offered beer and/or rides on their ATVs. My favorite was a group that I met who were taking down their deer stand for the season. One of them was an older gentleman wearing an unbuttoned flannel shirt with a round little belly sticking out. When we saw me approaching he quickly closed up one button right over is belly button. It was a very sweet gesture.
Anyway, Lisa was curious because some hunters have been a little vocal and weary about what this woodpecker in their woods means. She said that her own husband fought her tooth and nail to open that shop but she said that she went ahead and opened The Ivory-bill Nest anyway. She's a neat gal, so be sure to stop in and say hi if you visit Brinkley.
One of my hands down favorite shirts was "Got Pecker? We Do!" I had to chuckle because at one point I overheard a lady say, "Oh, they have such vulgar shirts at that shop! Got Pecker, can you imagine?" I giggled and she said, "I suppose at your age you think that's clever." I pulled up my sweater and revealed my shirt that reads "Hot All-Bird Action" and said, "You're talking to a girl who made up this shirt." The desired effect of a disgruntled look from the lady was achieved and of course I had to throw in, "I was going to get my mom one of those pecker shirts but they didn't have them in her size." Which is the honest truth, anyone who has ever met my mother would agree that shirt suits her. She is simultaneously one of the wackiest yet most intelligent people you will ever meet. She can have an in depth conversation with a college professor over Shakespeare, Bronte or Steinbeck. Heck, she'll even throw in some Stephen Hawking or Carl Sagan into the mix, but she'll never turn down a good pecker joke. Alas, it is hard to find shirts for my mother who is only four foot eight inches.
I did get one of the "Got Pecker?" Camo hats but almost got the "Where's Dat Der Peckerwood?" instead. It was a tough choice. One bummer thing about the "Got Pecker?" shirts is that they do not include an image of the ivory-bill which is half the fun.
There were of course hand painted ivory-billed holiday ornaments, and I just couldn't resist the kitsch of the sparkley silver one with an ivory-bill flying across it. Maybe that's why it is so hard to see this bird, we need to start using disco balls!
The ivory-billed artwork was kind of all over the place for my taste. I don't know if I'm really of good judge of art since my music taste runs from David Bowie to the Grease 2 Soundtrack (it's a sickness, I know) Here is a sampling and I will let you be the judge of what is art and what is not:
And if that art work doesn't suit you or if you want to impress your friends you can get an official Ivory-bill University shirt that shows you got schooled in good ole Brinkley and now have the strongest bird fu when it comes to Campephilus principalis.
And on the off chance that you did not get to see the woodpecker in the swamp, you can still have your photo taken with an ivory-billed. Ivory-bills on your shoulder make you happy. Note: this sculpture was not made to actual ivory-bill size.