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The Ivory-billed Woodpecker is one of the largest woodpeckers in the world, at roughly 20 inches in length and 30 inches in wingspan. It was native to the virgin forests of the southeastern United States. Due to habitat destruction, and to a lesser extent hunting, its numbers have dwindled to... MORE
The Ivory-billed Woodpecker is one of the largest woodpeckers in the world, at roughly 20 inches in length and 30 inches in wingspan. It was native to the virgin forests of the southeastern United States. Due to habitat destruction, and to a lesser extent hunting, its numbers have dwindled to the point where it is uncertain whether any remain, though there have been reports that it has been seen again. Almost no forests today can maintain an Ivory-billed Woodpecker population. The species is listed as critically endangered and possibly extinct by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The American Birding Association lists the Ivory-billed Woodpecker as a Class 6 species, a category the ABA defines as "definitely or probably extinct." Reports of at least one male Ivory-billed Woodpecker in Arkansas in 2004 were investigated and subsequently published in April 2005 by a team led by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. No definitive confirmation of those reports emerged, despite intensive searching over five years following the initial sightings. A $10,000 reward was offered in June 2006 for information leading to the discovery of an Ivory-billed Woodpecker nest, roost or feeding site. In December 2008, the Nature Conservancy announced a reward of $50,000 to the person who can lead a project biologist to a living Ivory-billed Woodpecker. LESS
Set in a murky swamp overflowing with birders, scientists and government money, GHOST BIRD explores the limits of certainty, the seductive power of hope, and how one phantom woodpeckers changed a sleepy Southern town forever. This thrilling eco-noir investigates the strange but true story of a small town in Arkansas overrun by a nation of birders all in search of the Holy Grail with wings -- the Ivory-billed woodpecker. Presumed extinct for over half a century, the iconic bird was seen flying through the bayous of eastern Arkanasas in 2004 by scientists who announced the Ivory-bill's miraculous rediscovery. Or was it? Despite years of searching, the bird's fate remains a mystery. This witty, intelligent documentary brings the Ivory-bill/s blurry rediscovery into focus, revealing our uneasy relationship with nature and the increasing uncertainty of our place within it. This film features music by The Pixies, The Black Keys, Under Byen, Hazmat Modine, The Black Heart Procession, and an original score by Zoe Keating.