Bird? Plane? Batman? No, shotguns

A swamp in Luisiana was livened up by a claim that an ivory-billed woodpecker had been spotted. Thought to be extinct for the last sixty years, birdwatchers flocked to the area, cameras and tape recorders in hand, to catch a glimpse of this holy grail of the ornithological world.

Cornell University set a series of recorders and Zeiss Sports Optics sent a team of scientists, who managed to record the double-tap of this largest American woodpecker (with a wingspan of 72 cm or 30 inches).

However, close analysis of the double-taps on the tape revealed that the noise was caused by shotguns going off, as hunters bagged wild turkeys.

The ivory-billed woodpecker remains elusive.


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