$12K Reward Offered For Finding Rare Woodpecker

Feb 27, 2020

Credit Courtesy: RRNWR Facebook

RARE WOODPECKER-  This next story is for the birds or actually about one bird in particular.  The Ivory Billed Woodpecker has been thought to have been extinct for more than 40 years but there have been reports of sightings recently and if you listen carefully – what you’re about to hear is what some experts say is the sound of this rare bird.

That sound was recorded by Matt Courtman, Executive Director of Louisiana Wilds Project,  Matt is a former president of the Louisiana Ornithological Society and is an expert on Louisiana birds.  The Ivory Billed Woodpecker is larger than a crow and has a distinctive bill that some say resembles a large ice-cream cone shape that is white so it really stands out.  As to the question of it being extinct, Matt says otherwise.

THOUGHT TO BE EXTINCT - Although sightings are rare, there have been credible reports of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers alive in Louisiana.
Credit Courtesy: La. Wilds Project

"Last year I had two brief sightings," Courtman explained. "A more exciting one was a pair of of Ivory-bills on March 10th 2019. In addition to my Ivory-billed encounters there have been several credible reports of Ivory-billed sightings throughout Louisiana over the past few years."

The Ivory Billed Woodpecker was believed to have been extinct due to habitat destruction due to mass deforestation which occurred around 1944  in Northeast Louisiana and other nearby states.  But in the decades since, there have been sporadic ivory-billed sightings.  And so the Louisiana Wilds Project has launched a public-awareness project to get people involved and help find this rare bird.

"Louisiana Wilds is offering a $12,000 reward for information leading to the discovery, of an active Ivory-billed Woodpecker roost or nest cavity," Courtman said.

A special public meeting will take place this Friday at the Red River Refuge in Bossier City, to learn more go to:  Red River Wildlife Refuge 

For information on Louisiana Wilds: CLICK HERE