Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Fossil Campephilus Species

In his book In Search of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, Jerome A. Jackson relates that a fossil species was described as Campephilus dalquesti by Pierce Brodkorb, an American ornithologist and paleontologist.  This fossil species was discovered in Scurry County in central Texas, and dated to the late Pliocene epoch.

I wonder what C. dalquesti looked like.   Maybe a bit like this dino-bird!?  At least the colors look right. The dino-bird portrayed below is Anchiornis huxleyi - you can find more info here.

Check out the amazing video at this link:

The Internet Bird Collection - Videos, Photos & Sounds

The Internet Bird Collection (IBC) is a free audiovisual library "with the ultimate goal of disseminating knowledge about the world's avifauna." Many thousands of videos, photos and sounds at the IBC inform birders, ornithologists, conservationists, etc. and showcase a variety of bird behavior.  The IBC welcomes people to upload and share their own bird videos, photos and sounds on the site.

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As you'd expect, you'll find many Campephilus videos, photos and sounds at the IBC!  

Handbook of the Birds of the World by Lynx Edicions

The Internet Bird Collection is a non-profit endeavor sponsored by the Handbook of the Birds of the World, whose publishers happened to select the Magellanic Woodpecker, the largest woodpecker in South America, to represent the entire Picidae family on the cover of Volume 7.

Some people were not quite as thrilled with that selection as I was.   In an overwhelmingly positive review of the book, Geoffrey Carpentier had this to say about the cover:

With a book of this nature, one has to try very hard before finding fault. My only quibble:
I didn't like the picture of the Magellanic Woodpecker on the cover. It seems
an ungainly bird and a prettier one could have been chosen. 

Listen at the Macaulay Library

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Macaulay Library bills itself as "The World's Largest Archive of Animal Sounds and Video."  Follow the link below, and you'll be able to search for over 200 Campephilus woodpecker sound files by common or scientific name.

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The Macaulay Library contains the notable 10 min, 20 sec length recording of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers drumming, making kents and also other vocalizations all recorded by Arthur A. Allen and his team in April, 1935.  It also contains a 1 min, 40 sec recording of what may be kent calls of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker recorded by John V. Dennis on February 25, 1968 in Texas.

Listen at Xeno-Canto

Xeno-canto is a community database of shared bird sounds from around the world.  It's an ever-growing collection of bird sounds.  At xeno-canto, you can listen to dozens of Campephilus woodpecker vocalizations, drumming and knocks from 9 out of the 12 species.  Missing are any sounds of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, the Cuban Ivory-billed Woodpecker and the Imperial Woodpecker.  That still leaves a multitude of recordings of the rest of the Campephilus family for your enjoyment and study.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


Xeno-canto lets visitors to its site participate by discussing and identifying unknown sounds.  And, if you record bird sounds, you should know that xeno-canto also lets people upload and share their own recordings on the site.

Also, don't miss the highly informative Species Overview  pages on Xeno-Canto.  Available from the left frame menu, these pages offer a summary of number of species sound recordings, photos, range maps and sonogram images.   See this page, for example:

WikiAves - A Enciclopédia das Aves do Brasil

WikiAves Encyclopedia of Brazilian Birds is an amazing resource of Campephilus descriptive information, photos and sounds.   WikiAves represents the four species of Campephilus woodpeckers, listed below, that can be found in Brazil.

The photographs that I have seen in WikiAves are among the most spectacular ones that I've seen anywhere.

In English and Portuguese, the four species of Campephilus in WikiAves are:


    Although the entry on the Cream-backed Woodpecker is rather slim (as of this posting) the others have a wealth of descriptive information.  And you'll find sounds and photos for all of them.  You can cut and paste the Portuguese text into your favorite web-based translator to understand the entries.

    SIB - Parques Nacionales - Sistema de Información sobre Biodiversidad

    There are 4 species of Campephilus that are native to Argentina which contain interesting and detailed profiles (en Español) along with dramatic illustrations of each species, except the Robust Woodpecker, at the SIB - Parques Nacionales - Sistema de Información sobre Biodiversidad site.  Be a bit patient to allow this site to load.

    In English and with their Spanish names, the four species of Campephilus at the SIB site are:

              Carpintero grande

              Carpintero patagónico

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