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Alive and Knocking: Glimpses of an ivory-billed legend

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9:56am, May 4, 2005

A 4-second video released last week and reports of brief glimpses by seven observers have convinced many biologists and birders that the famed ivory-billed woodpecker has not gone extinct after all.

The third-largest woodpecker in the world, measuring some 20 inches from crest tip to tail, this bird once ranged through the old-growth forests of the southeastern United States and Cuba. Logging wiped out the old trees in those areas, and until last week, the last widely accepted U.S. sighting of the bird occurred in 1944 in Louisiana (SN: 6/22/02, p. 397: Available to subscribers at Oops. Woodpecker raps were actually gunshots).

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