The Ivory-billed woodpecker was one of the largest woodpeckers in North America. It was native to Southeastern United States, especially to Arkansas. A unique subspecies was native to the island of Cuba. Both genders were shiny blue black and white. Males possessed a red marking on its head, differentiating it from the female who does not - an example of sexual dimorphism. It was native to pines and hardwood and its diet mainly consisted of seeds, fruits and insects.
Due to heavy logging, the ivory-billed woodpecker's population diminished and was almost extirpated in North America. Although it was considered officially extinct in both North America and Cuba, there are still many sightings. There have been many sightings of the woodpecker and restoration teams have preserved and conserved certain habitats where the ivory-billed woodpecker may yet reside.
Many scientists believe the species is extinct but there have been numerous sightings across the Southern United States. In 1944 the last "known" specimen of the species was gone.
- 1935 - the first video of an ivory-billed woodpecker was recorded in Louisiana.
- 1967 - the species was officially declared endangered and the only verifiable proof of its existence was a recording originating from East Texas.
- 1971 - Lewis, an avid outdoorsman, took several photographs of an ivory-billed woodpecker.
- 1994 - It was officially declared extinct by the IUCN, however its conversation status was quickly reverted to 'Critically Endangered'.
- 1999 - there was an unconfirmed sighting in Louisiana which resulted in an unsuccessful expedition.
- 2004/5 - in Big Woods, Arkansas, there was a confirmed sighting of a male ivory-billed woodpecker by a ornithologist association.
- 2005/6 -In the Florida panhandle there were many sightings and recordings of the ivory-billed woodpecker.
There seems to exist a subspecies of the ivory-billed woodpecker which exists in the mountains of Cuba. The subspecies may or may not be extinct.
The woodpecker is widely popular and many enthusiasts flock to Arkansas to maybe find this elusive creature. This species is in fact a cryptid because it is thought by many to be extinct but may yet still live in the deep forests of Southeastern United States.
"Ivory-billed Woodpecker by Jerry A. Payne" by Original photo by Arthur A. Allen, coloured version by Jerry A. Payne - This image is Image Number 2513013 at Forestry Images, a source for forest health, natural resources and silviculture images operated by The Bugwood Network at the University of Georgia and the USDA Forest Service.. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 us via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ivory-billed_Woodpecker_by_Jerry_A._Payne.jpg#/media/File:Ivory-billed_Woodpecker_by_Jerry_A._Payne.jpg
"Ivory-bill pair" by Arthur A. Allen - http://extinct-website.co.uk/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=12&products_id=528. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ivory-bill_pair.jpg#/media/File:Ivory-bill_pair.jpg