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Camera Trap Photos Gallery

I thought it might be useful to aggregate some of the camera trap photos we’ve obtained over the years on a single page and to include some additional brief discussion. We are fully aware that none of these images is sufficiently clear to be considered definitive. That said, I’ve lived with the first image shown on this page for nearly six years, and I’m unable to come up with an explanation other than that it’s a female Ivory-billed Woodpecker. Nothing like it appears in any of the other trail cam photos that were taken in that location, and this was a spot where I had a possible sighting a week before the image was obtained. Two significant ivorybill field marks – a white saddle on the lower back and a black crest – appear distinctly in the raw image. What appears to be a large, cream colored bill is also visible, and this apparent bill is absent in the preceding and following frames. Also note the very extensive scaling on the tree at the center of the frame (the main target). This was the only game cam photo we posted on the original Project Coyote site, and it still strikes me as being the most compelling. Frank Wiley’s original analysis of this image and the details is here.

Links to more detailed discussions of these images and of trail cams in general are here.

We recently obtained new, higher resolution trail cams (thanks to Jay Huner, Marty Floyd, and the Rapides Wildlife Association). We hope that they will provide us with something definitive.

You can click on the images to see them full sized and click again to embiggen them further.

Trail cam photo with scaled tree in the foreground, Nov. 2009.

3547 Crop Resize Bright -10 Contrast +20

Detail from preceding frame. Note the absence of any object resembling the suspected Ivory-billed Woodpecker or the apparent bill in the triangular opening at the upper left.

Detail from preceding frame. Note the absence of any object resembling the suspected Ivory-billed Woodpecker or the apparent bill in the triangular opening at the upper left.

Reconyx image taken August 11th 2009. Possible Ivory-billed Woodpecker is just below the major fork in the center tree. A squirrel can also bee seen near the suspected roost hole, higher on the trunk.

Reconyx image taken August 11th 2009. Possible Ivory-billed Woodpecker is just below the major fork in the center tree. A squirrel can also be seen near the suspected roost hole, higher on the trunk.

IMG_1096-Edit-Edit-Edit-Edit-Edit-Edit-Edit-Edit-EditTopaz processed neck bird

This detail has been modified to alter the color balance, revealing that the apparent red in the crest of the raw image is likely an artifact.

Ivory-billed and Pileated specimens: mote the dramatic differences in neck length and appearance and body shape around the shoulders.

Ivory-billed and Pileated specimens: note the dramatic differences in neck length and appearance and body shape around the shoulders.

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I think this image is very intriguing – the size, tail and head projections, and wing shape in particular. To my eyes, there’s a white trailing edge on the wing. Here’s a version that’s been edited to remove motion blur, using Focus Magic, and brightened, with a screen capture of an Imperial Woodpecker at a different angle but with similar wing position pasted in for comparison

Composite

For a full discussion that includes the reasons we think the bird is larger than a Pileated Woodpecker, see this post.

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Another intriguing image, strongly reminiscent of some photos from the Singer Tract, but since size cannot be determined, Red-headed Woodpecker remains a possibility; however, compared to the image at the bottom of the page, the body and tail look elongated.

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I’m less intrigued by this shot, though some who have seen it feel differently.

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I was initially excited about this image but am now leaning very strongly toward Red-headed Woodpecker. Update: we are now persuaded this is Red-headed Woodpecker.

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