Author: Jerome A. Jackson
Paperback: 322 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books / Collins; Updated edition (May 9, 2006)
In this book, Ornithologist Jerome Jackson takes the reader through a comprehensive review of the behavior and ecology of the rarest of birds, the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker. This species is considered by many bird-watchers to be the "Feathered Grail". The book constantly "dances" with the question, is the Ivory-Billed extinct or not? The book provides an excellent overview of the behavior, ecology and its place in culture of this magnificent bird. It also outlines the birds structure of flight, vocalizations, feeding, diet and its breeding and nesting.
The book further discusses the many causes of decline of the Ivory-Billed species. As you would expect the "usual suspects" in species decline are outlined: the extreme loss of habitat and human hunting. A couple of other interesting aspects of the bird's decline are outlined that may not be apparent to us today:
Would Cuba prove to be the last remaining refuge of this species? Jackson outlines his expedition to Northeastern Cuba in 1988 in search of the elusive bird. While he discovered evidence of the possibility that the bird could still exist (for example, finding a shredded pine tree and possibly hearing an Ivory-Billed call), ultimately the search turned up no sightings. Jackson noted that Cuba had also logged a good portion of virgin forests in its Northeast. This probably resulted in the species dramatic decline or even extinction in Cuba.
The Epilogue of the book covers the supposed "re-discovery" of the Ivory-Billed in Arkansas in 2005. While the initial results of a supposed sighting created a great deal of fervor, the evidence presented remained inconclusive as to whether the sightings were real or again confused with a Pileated Woodpecker.
A couple of other significant points about the book:
Is the Ivory-Billed extinct? This book takes the reader down many pathways and holds out the possibility and hope that the bird still exists. As the author concludes, "the truth is out there". Grab a copy and investigate for yourself!
Thank you for reading our review of this amazing title! This review was written with the assistance of "Grammarly". Grammarly is an amazing FREE tool that allows anyone to write like a professional! For more information and a free download, click here.
Singer Manufacturing Company - Singer Tract (Louisiana) - The American Ornithological Union