Southeast Professor Goes in Search of Elusive Woodpecker

JANUARY 3, 2006 - Posted at 3:24 p.m. CST

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO - Maybe the ivory-billed woodpecker isn't extinct after all.

Southeast Missouri State University professor Bill Eddleman is spending the remainder of his semester break searching in eastern Arkansas for the bird that was believed extinct for nearly 60 years.

Eddleman left yesterday for the White River National Wildlife Refuge to join a search crew.

The last reported sighting of the ivory-billed woodpecker was in 1944.  But in February of 2004, a kayaker spotted what he believed was the bird near the wildlife refuge.  Since then, bird watchers have been flocking to Arkansas to search for the storied woodpecker.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)