My art group, Masterworks For Nature, is teaming up with the Cincinnati Zoo and Geoff Hill of Auburn University to conduct an Ivory Bill “hunt” in the Choctawhatchee River Basin in January 2010. The Zoo is bringing a videographer to film the expedition, and a DNA expert in the hopes that we’ll find potential IBW feathers or droppings. A few of our Masterworks members have been involved with IBW research for a while. John Ruthven was involved in the Arkansas search before it was made public, and was commissioned by the Interior Department to paint the bird. The painting was unveiled at Interior’s announcement of the bird’s rediscovery.
There will be a fairly large number of people involved (2 dozen??), so we can coordinate efforts to cover a large area at any given time. Our trip in 2008 was successful in that two of our members saw the bird, but we know it slipped by others because of gaps in our coverage. Finding active nest holes is the main objective, other than photographing the bird (always the top priority). I’ll post more as the expedition is planned in detail, and of course, a full report after it happens.
Watch for my article about my 2008 sighting in the January-February issue of Bird Watcher’s Digest.
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