Bird watcher alert | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Bird watcher alert

Posted By on Wed, Apr 28, 2010 at 6:17 AM

SEARCHING: For the ivory-billed woodpecker. (Cornell U.)

Nice review this morning in the New York Times for Scott Crocker's documentary film, "Ghost Bird," on the unsuccessful search for an ivory-billed woodpecker in the Big Woods near Brinkley. The film (screened last October at the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival) gets at the debate over whether there was a legitimate sighting of the bird, long thought extinct, and how the search may have obscured efforts to protect other birds. But it's entertaining, too.

But there’s nothing dry about the debates between experts as presented by Mr. Crocker: he throws in goofy cameos by Woody Woodpecker and Donald H. Rumsfeld. But in the film’s lighter segments he’s never laughing at the people of Brinkley. He’s more interested in letting their unpretentious good humor shine through. One area resident, shown while getting a haircut (though not the woodpecker one), mentions Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster.

“I’ve never known of one fatality caused by either one of them,” he says, “but this woodpecker, it’s going to kill some folks probably if they keep stopping on these highways taking pictures.”

PS -- Here's a clip of Crocker talking about the film in Hot Springs last fall.

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