Ivory-billed Woodpecker

Campephilus principalis

Order

PICIFORMES

Family

Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Code 4

IBWO

Code 6

CAMPRI

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Critically Endangered

The Ivory-billed Woodpecker is evaluated as Critically Endangered although it may be Extinct. Historically, this huge woodpecker species ranged in old growth cypress swamps over much of the southeastern United States, and in mature pine forests in Cuba. As most of these forests were logged, this woodpecker species became increasingly rare. The last confirmed sightings in the United States were in remnant mature forests in Mississippi in the 1940s, and in the 1980s in Cuba. Although there have been some possible sightings in Louisiana and Arkansas since then, unequivocal documentation for the species is lacking, and thorough searches for it have not resulted in confirmed documentation that the species still exists. If the Ivory-billed Woodpecker is not extinct, any remaining population must be very small, and the species would be on the verge of extinction.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Ivory-billed Woodpecker: Largest and rarest North American woodpecker, jet-black with white wing patches, large red crest, black chin, throat. Thick white stripes extend from bill to rear of wings. In flight, wings appear white with black tips and thick, black center stripe. Pale, large bill.

 

Range and Habitat

Ivory-billed Woodpecker: Historically ranged in southeastern U.S., from Ohio River Valley to east Texas, the Gulf coast, and Florida; thought to be extinct for more than 60 years, but possibly rediscovered in the "Big Woods" region of eastern Arkansas. Habitats include old growth, bottomland forests. Populations were sparse, needing about 16 square kilometers to support one pair.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"kent", "yank, yank, yank"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Considered extinct for many years, there has been recent evidence that the Ivory-billed Woodpecker may still live. In 2004, there was a reported sighting in the Cache River National Wildlife Refuge of Arkansas. Scientists believe the evidence of the continued existence of these birds is credible. Since 2004 there have been reports of sightings in Florida as well. However, these are not as well substantiated.
  • It was given the species name principalis because it was believed to be the largest woodpecker. In fact there are at least two larger, one from Mexico and one from Southeast Asia.
  • This species also experienced dire persecution. For example, in Cuba, it was hung outside homes to prevent witchcraft.
  • A group of woodpeckers has many collective nouns, including a "descent", "drumming", and "gatling" of woodpeckers.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Irina Rud-Volga

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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ChinX
The area of the face just below the bill.
CrestX
Tufts of feathers on the head of the bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X