Monday, September 8, 2014

On the Ivory-billed Woodpecker

During a recent interview I was asked why the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, among all the species driven to extinction by human behavior, has remained so much in the consciousness of the American public? To answer the question I referred back to something I wrote several years ago in a review for the movie Ghost Bird.

Certainly, it is a striking and beautiful creature but I think it is more than that. The Ivory-Bill offers hope of redemption for we Americans who, while we loved the forests and wild places of our continent, failed to be good stewards of the incredible resources with which we were blessed. True, our failures are magnified by the extinction of such a magnificent bird. But if, somehow, the Ivory-Bill has survived then we would have an opportunity to make things right. We would have a second chance. Until, and unless, we get that chance we will be forever haunted by this ghost bird.

I continue to pray that the Ivory-billed woodpecker survives somewhere in the bottom-lands of the Deep South and that we will get that second chance.