Ivory-billed Woodpecker Field Trips
We have collectively spent over 600 searcher days in the field in 4 states. Ivory-billeds are absent from many areas and even if present are extremely wary animals. Additionally a pair can range over 6 to 50 square miles. It takes field experience, skill, patience and substantial effort to find one bird; it’s more like a hunting expedition than the usual birding outing. Regardless on multiple occasions we have located a bird within one field week in a very few select areas. On some trips we will be using approved and/or permitted attraction methods. We also encounter and identify many other exciting species of animals and plants, but the research target takes precedence.
On some trips, NBP spends a portion of time searching new areas that have never been surveyed or we feel have not be properly examined in the recent past. In “new” areas” we are not sure what will be encountered, so we are extra pensive and vigilant.
We are also open to inquiries on searching Cuba; this would require extensive paperwork and lead time. Encountering Ivory-billeds, as scores of searchers have in the SE United States, is exhilarating. When any of us hears or sees a species they have never encountered before, there is hesitancy; you have no field experience with that animal. You’re excited, but unsure. NBP’s field people have gone through that scenario multiple times and are able to point out the sometimes distant calls or knocks of this very, very rare species for you; we then move closer as a team via strict methods. We share our knowledge accumulated in several hundred field hours in the SE US attracting, listening and looking for the “Lord God Bird”.
Make a reservation inquiry right here with range of dates.
Report Your Possible Ivory-billed Woodpecker Encounters
National Biodiversity Parks has directly explored and formally surveyed many areas in the SE US inclusive of all the specific or general areas strongly asserted or confirmed by various researchers to have had birds in the 1930s. Interestingly but not inconsistent with general ecological considerations and natality, birds are still present in 3 of the 4 areas described by James Tanner.
We have visited, surveyed and interviewed key people in the southern third of FL several times, with a concentration on Big Cypress National Preserve, Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve and Green Swamp Preserve. We could not locate any birds or find any credible reports of Ivory-bills in the last twenty years. We interviewed the main scientific field personnel in the two SW preserves who had accumulated many decades of field presence with negative conclusions. The species may be extirpated in the southern third of FL.
The population is so low that they have a choice of the most inaccessible, to humans, forested swamp areas to forage in, roost in and nest. People have been hunting Ivory-bills for hundreds of years and it is likely that the aversion to humans is now innate. An Ivory-bill likely needs only an hour or two per day to meet its caloric needs, this can likely be accomplished within a few quality square miles of its range.
They prefer larger, roadless habitat blocks with numerous braided stream beds and bayous. They also will select areas that have relatively more, recently dead, standing wood. We have found that small area forests, and those with trees less than 50 years old, forests with suboptimal standing dead wood, areas with weekly or greater human visitation and areas lacking seclusion will have an extremely low density to no birds. Subpar habitat in larger parks will in generally not be occupied with much frequency.
If you desire, we welcome your assistance, experience and advice as we survey the area. Please contact us. Put in the comment section what you saw in detail. Report your Ivory-billed Woodpecker sightings here:
Ivory-billed Woodpecker Matching Grants Available
Availability of funds depends on the amount of donations we receive so general readers should consider making a tax deductible contribution to our various causes. Private researchers should also consider partnering with NBP because of synergisms created by involving a non-profit corporation.
Our ability to provide field assistance to researchers depends on various factors.
NBP has performed over 25 Ivory-billed related field studies under varying methodologies and with various partners. We have extensive experience with all aspects of Ivory-billed research.
Make a preliminary inquiry for a grant or field assistance right here. You may receive an application form in response.