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Scientists search swamps for rare bird

UPI News Service, 10/23/2005 

Biologists are searching the swamps of Arkansas for definitive proof of the mythic ivory-billed woodpecker.

Cornell University biologists are trying to prove that the largest woodpecker in North America is not extinct, Newhouse News Service reported.

Cornell's first search for the ivory-billed woodpecker yielded 15 sightings. Researchers from other universities had planned to submit a paper claiming the video Cornell released last spring really showed a pileated woodpecker, Newhouse reported.

They changed their minds at the last minute after the Cornell lab sent them audio recordings that captured the bird's calls and knocks.

Still, skeptics remain. One blogger maintains a Web site called "the ivory-bill skeptic" and contends the searchers probably spotted an abnormal version of the pileated woodpecker.

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Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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