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ivory-billed woodpecker

mday93L.jpg

A pair of (then not rare) ivory-billed woodpeckers collected in the swamps of Florida in 1894. As I was sitting on the floor and looking up at the glass case, the female was backlit and partly obscured by foliage. I tried to imagine what it would be like to glimpse such a bird in motion.

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You might know that there was a celebrated possible sighting of an ivory-billed woodpecker here in Arkansas a couple of years ago. They were thought to be extinct for decades, and if there was only one, they may be extinct again. One of the specialty license plates Arkansans can get now features the bird (my car wears one), and NPR commissioned unusual singer Sufjan Stevens to write a song about the bird and the area of Arkansas it was spotted in. It was called the Lord God bird because the sight of its majestic flight could cause people to blurt, "Lord God!"

Posted by: Laura at January 19, 2007 06:18 PM

I remember reading about it - maybe in the New Yorker? Didn't know about the song, though. (Will look out for that.)

Posted by: Elizabeth at January 20, 2007 01:30 AM
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