Monday, March 05, 2007

Crikey, by Jove, and wtf?

What happened here? 20 visitors to the Secret Freezer on Saturday (and very welcome you were too, btw) , then I mention the word 'Ivory' at the tail end of a sociological post about bus drivers(!) (or maybe I announced it - :-)
and this happens.

I should mention Ivory-bills more often. Ivory Ivory Ivory! As I've appeared on the Ivory-bill Skeptic page (more than once now), I'll get my retaliation in first... I'm not really an Ivory-bill Skeptic - I'm a universal data skeptic! :-) Just ask the lab. Although I do get to do some rarity record assessment it's not really my forte. It's not what the upcoming paper is about, but I really have no reason to doubt the recent sight-records. What DOES ring alarm bells for me (in general - not IBWOs), in the realm of birding record assessment, is any one or more of the following:
1) Repeated 'possible' sightings without positive confirmation
2) When poor sightings suggest a rarity but good sightings turn out to be something common.
When brief sightings suggest a rarity but prolonged sightings turn out to be something common.
4) When a small number of people see the rarity several times, while other equally competent observers never see it at all.
Leave it to the believers and skeptics to decide how many of those apply to Ivory-bills.

1 comment:

Bill Pulliam said...

I'm afraid in your video analysis you have made the same errors as Sibley and Nelson, yet again, including:

--Mistaking artifacts for plumage features
--Failing to account for the wing mechanics during flight (not just the wingbeat rate) that are not consistent with any existing video of a Pileated.

For more details, you might be interested in starting at:

Thanks --