The Ivory-billed Woodpecker
by John A Ruthven

The Ivory-billed Woodpeckerby John A Ruthven

The early explorers in this country saw this fascinating bird and it impressed all that saw it. The Ivory-billed Woodpecker has a wingspan of 2-1/2 feet and measures 21" from bill to tail. The male has a flaming red crest, and extremely beautiful iridescent white and black plumage. It was a site to behold!

John James Audubon nicknamed it the Vandyke bird after the famous Flemish painter because he used similar colors in his paintings. Alexander Wilson, one of our first major bird artists in this country, was fascinated with the bird and even had one as a pet. One day he left the bird alone in his bedroom tied to the bedpost and it subsequently escaped and was loose in the room. Much to his chagrin, he returned to his room where he found the woodpecker pecking holes trying to escape.

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