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Biders: ( Vanished bird Found in Ark. Thought-to-be extinct woodpecker had not been seen since 1944  by Randolph E. Schmid Associated Press )



Washington- The ivory-billed woodpecker, once prized for its plumage and thought by American Indians as magical, was believed to be extinct for years.Now it's been sighted again and conservationists are exulting. The striking bird, last seen in 1944 has been rediscovered in the Big Woods area of Arkansas scientists and conservationists reported Thursday." This is thrilling beyond words... after 60 years of fading hope that we would ever see this spectacular bird again," John W. Fitzpatrick, director of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology said at a news conference.
Since early 2004 there have been several independent sightings, including one caught on videotape, of one or more of the birds Fitzpatrick said. 
That  video of the bird's 3-foot wingspan and distinctive black-and-White markings comfirmed the presence of the creature that seemed to have vanished after logging destroyed its habitat. The discovery of living examples of an animal believed to be extinct is rare, said Tess Present, director of science at the National Audubon Society. " Wow " she said. " This is tremendous."
Interior Secretary Gale Norton, " Second chances to save wildlife once thought to be extinct are rare... We will the advantage of this opportunity."
Norton and Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns promised millions of dollars in federal assistance to work with the state and local residents to protect this bird. " Don't love this bird to death," Norton added, saying there has not been time to make plans for public access to view the bird. Fitzpatrick's report was released by the American Association of the Advancement of Science, which is publishing the study in the journal Science, and also announced by the Nature Conservancy. Fitzpatrick said it Became known as the Lord God bird because people seeing it would exclaim, " Lord God, look at the bird." He said researchers reported a similar reaction when they spotted it from a canoe last year. The woodpecker suddenly swooped in front and might even have landed on the canoe, but they all suddenly shouted: " Ivory bill!"  ( From the Friday's April 29, 2005 Knoxville News Sentinel Newspaper on page A6 / also there is print with the article of Ivory-Billed Woodpecker from Massachuesetts Audubon Society )

Shane Adams
Hamblen County
Morristown, TN.   

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