Brinkley Not Fazed by Doubters of the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker

MARCH 17, 2006 - Posted at 7:38 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A new article that disputes whether the ivory-billed woodpecker lives in the swamps of eastern Arkansas didn't come as a surprise to the residents and scientists devoted to the bird.

In an issue of the Journal of Science published today, a set of researchers argue that a bird videotaped in 2004 by David Luneau of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock was probably a common pileated woodpecker.

The article research team says the quality of the video is not good enough to clearly see the white stripes on the bird's back that would mark it as ivory-billed, and the large amounts of white seen while it is flying can be accounted for by the underside of the wings of a pileated woodpecker.

Jay Harrod, a spokesman for the Nature Conservancy of Arkansas, said peer reviews and debates are part of the scientific process.  Harrod says the paper hasn't dampened any efforts to keep searching for the bird.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)