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Acrylic on illustration board 30" x 20"
At around twenty
inches in length, the ivory-billed woodpecker (Campephilus
principalis) was North America's largest woodpecker. Never
a common bird, it once haunted virgin cyprus swamps and bottomland
forests throughout the southeastern U.S. By the end of the nineteenth
century its imminent extinction was feared, and the last confirmed
sighting was in the late 1950's. Sporadic events since that time
point to the possibility that some of these birds may still endure:
a handful of questionable photographs, numerous unconfirmed sightings,
and a 2002 recording of what may have been the drumming of an
ivorybill made in Louisiana by a team from Cornell University.