Sneaking Away

I am currently on my way out of town for a few days to get away from the Internet. I have a project that I need to dedicate some time and the Internet is just too much of a distraction. I started an official bird banding class this morning (up to this point I have mostly been lurking and doing it when handed the bird) so I took my class and am now headed to a cabin with no Internet. Non Birding Bill will be monitoring the blog, and I'm sure we'll get some insight into his twisted...I'm sorry, how about unique view of birding. Who knows, last time he filled in for me, he got one of his blog entries published. Who knows what could happen for him this time?

If you have any bird questions, I would not email them, but maybe ask them in the comments section for the next few days--a lot of knowledgeable people check the blog and can answer questions as well (and in many cases better) than me.

In other news, people have been sending this NY Times article about how the town of Brinkley has gone from boom to bust with lack of a decent photo or video of an ivory-billed woodpecker. Here are some sobering excerpts:

"After the sighting was announced, local economies seemed to benefit for a while as scientists, bird-watchers and news media outlets from around the world flocked to Brinkley and to the other communities in the patchwork quilt of fragmented forest and farmland that surrounds the Big Woods.

“People came from everywhere,” said Gene DePriest, who still has an ivory-billed cheeseburger, salad and dessert on the menu of his barbecue restaurant in Brinkley. “I sold over $20,000 worth of T-shirts in six months.”

Lately, though, the ivory-billed boom has pretty much been a bust, especially since researchers and bird-watchers have, so far, failed to take a definitive picture of the woodpecker.

“It has been kind of a disappointment,” said Penny Childs, owner of Penny’s Hair Care and creator of the “woodpecker haircut,” which she does not get many requests for anymore. “The delta could use millions of dollars to build up our lives, but instead we struggle.”

Mrs. Childs, 43, is still cutting hair, but just down the street from her small one room salon, an empty brick building is all that remains of the Ivory-Bill Nest gift shop, which closed last January. Down the street, the former Ivory-Billed Inn and R.V. Park is now a Days Inn.

“I did invest a lot of money in stuff to sell, and I didn’t even break even,” Mrs. Childs said. “I have got a whole yard full of wooden woodpeckers right now.”