Science in the News: Ivory-Billed Woodpecker

April 10, 2006 – January 31, 2007

National Museum of Natural History
10th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC

1st Floor, Rotunda Floor Plan

A presumably extinct bird, the ivory-billed woodpecker, Campephilus principalis, was reportedly rediscovered in 2004. This case features several specimens to illustrate the differences between the ivory-billed woodpecker and the pileated woodpecker. It also explains how the cutting of the woodpecker's habitat -- hardwood bottomlands of the southeastern U.S.-- may have brought the species to the brink of extinction, and how conservation of this habitat may lead to its resurgence. The last confirmed sighting of the ivory-billed woodpecker was in 1944, and clear images are still needed to confirm the recent sightings.