Exhibits: What's Inside | Ecology




Click on the image to take a closer look
at the
Ivory-Billed Woodpecker.

An Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, a species long thought to be extinct, is mounted and on exhibit at The State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg. Recent news stories have announced the surprising discovery in eastern Arkansas of the bird, last seen some sixty years ago. That news has been greeted with great excitement in the Ornithology and scientific communities.

"The Ivory-Billed Woodpecker on exhibit at The State Museum gives students and other visitors the opportunity to see a rare bird that most scientists believed was gone from the earth forever. With the discovery of the return of the woodpecker, interest in it has increased and we are happy that we can offer a look at the species." - Barbara Franco, Executive Director of the PHMC

The female woodpecker, whose latin name is Campephilus principalis, was acquired by the museum in the early 1970s and was part of a donated collection. It was found in the panhandle of Florida in June of 1887. The large-bodied bird was known to inhabit old-growth swampy areas between North Carolina, Arkansas, Southern Texas and Florida. It was also seen in Cuba.

The Ivory-Billed Woodpecker nests approximately 40 feet off the ground, has a wingspan of 30 inches and eats beetle larvae. The bird was the subject of a painting by John James Audubon and its current materialization is a cause of celebration for environmentalists and bird-watchers. One of the world's largest woodpeckers, its demise is believed to have been caused by the logging of tall trees across the southeastern United States where the birds lived. Numerous scientists are now at work at Arkansas's 500,000 acre Big Woods ecosystem searching for the elusive birds. 

Click here to listen to the call of the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker

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  Click on the image to download a pdf facts sheet on the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker.

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For a press release of this topic click here.


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