extinct or elusive?

So, here’s the question: is the ivory-billed woodpecker extinct, or just hard to find?  There hasn’t been a very convincing sighting of one since the 40s, but the search for one has taken on crypto-zoological dimensions.  Okay, so maybe they’re working on some better evidence than the bigfoot guys, but check out those “gone squatchin'” shirts – nice!

Speaking of large black, white, and red woodpeckers, I’m on a pileated hunt once again this summer after seeing my first one (and two, and three!) last summer.  Apparently, one was living in a tree just off of my balcony when I was little, but I never managed to see it.  For years, I was actually apprehensive about encountering one, because my dad originally described it as being up to my hip in size.  I kept that size in mind all of these years without realizing that… um… my hip is a little bit higher than it was when I was three.

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