Rich Guthrie, respected birder from New York's capitol and upstate region, is heading down to Arkansas again in search of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker.
Rich was a 2007 volunteer with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology team in search of the ivory-billed in the Big Woods of Arkansas. Follow this link to see his picture in the 7th Group of search teams.
During that visit, Rich reported that he did indeed see the elusive bird. Here's an article from The Daily Green on his 2007 report and you can listen to his report on the first part of his May 10, 2007 interview on WAMC Northeast Public Radio Vox Pop program, where he is a regular guest.
Rich spent two weeks in Arkansas in 2008 as well but reported no encounters with the Ivory billed.
Rich states, "The odds of success are improbable since there may be only one or two birds in existence (although there is evidence there may even be more)." He helps put the enormity of his task in perspective: "To put a sense of scale to the challenge, the area where they might be found is comparable in size to the Hudson Valley from Albany to Poughkeepsie with large sections impenetrable by swamps and flooded access."
The search will be complicated by high waters as well. "Last year, we had to abandon our search in a very favorable area because of the rising waters", Rich recalled. "This year I won't have the benefit of canoes, boats, or any institutional authorizations for privileged access to get into some of the more promising habitat."
Good luck Rich! I know I am still hopeful that the "Lord God bird" still exists.