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Searching by canoe.
Searching by canoe.

Searching for the ivory-billed woodpecker

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Leah Filo is a biologist with the Wild Center in Tupper Lake. She's spent most of her professional life doing field work with migratory songbirds. In January, she joined the search for a ghost among birds, the ivory-billed woodpecker - and she came back a believer. The ivory-billed was long thought to be extinct - but in April 2005, a partnership led by Cornell University's ornithology lab formally announced the rediscovery of the ivory-billed in an area of Arkansas bottom land swamp known as the Big Woods. They cited "visual encounters", a video clip, and sounds linked to ivory-bills. Not everyone believes. Since then, scientists and volunteers have been scouring likely habitat for more sightings. Leah Filo volunteered to help and found herself spending two weeks in the very Big Woods of the 2005 sightings -- along the White River in Arkansas. It was wet and chilly -- nights in the 30s, days in the 40s. It's bottom land forest, mostly deciduous woods that flood frequently. Leah spent most of her time in waders. She kept lots of notes, and kept an audio journal as well. She spoke with Martha Foley.

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Leah Filo inspecting bark scaling.

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