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The Grail Bird: Hot on the Trail of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker (2005)
Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 061870941X, Paperback)
In April 2005, a startling announcement made national and international news: the ivory-billed woodpecker, a bird thought to be extinct for nearly sixty years, had been sighted. The story behind this incredible discovery began more than a year earlier when, after a lengthy search, Tim Gallagher was one of the first people to see this iconic bird, the holy grail of birdwatchers. He persuaded the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology to mount a massive search for evidence of the bird's existence. The news was kept secret while field teams went to work and land was bought to conserve the ivory-bill's habitat. Gallagher's story reads like a mystery novel, and the subsequent conservation efforts provide hope and a lesson for our times.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:23 -0400)
Since the early twentieth century, scientists have been trying their best to prove that the ivory-bill is extinct. But every time they think they've finally closed the door, the bird makes an unexpected appearance. To unravel the mystery, author Gallagher heads south, deep into the eerie swamps and bayous of the vast Mississippi Delta, searching for people who claim to have seen this rarest of birds and following up--sometimes more than 30 years after the fact--on their sightings. He meets a colorful array of characters, but in most cases, they are clearly decades too late. Then, when the two speak to an Arkansas kayaker who saw a mystery woodpecker the week before, the hunt is on. Their Eureka moment is the first time since 1944 that two qualified observers positively identify an ivory-billed woodpecker in the United States.--From publisher description.
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