Until 2003, the Ivory-billed Woodpecker had not been seen in the United States since 1944, and was believed to be extinct. With the recent discovery that the Ivory-billed Woodpecker is still alive in the swamps of the Cache River National Wildlife Refuge of northeastern Arkansas new interest in this great bird has been growing among scientists, birdwatchers and those looking to capitalize on opportunities to see a rare and endangered bird.
The Ivory-billed Woodpecker (genus Campephilus principalis) is a magnificent species which is larger than other woodpeckers. Its body length can reach 19 inches or more with a wingspan in excess of 30 inches, slightly larger than its cousin of similar appearance, the common Pileated Woodpecker. Ivory-billed Woodpeckers live in bottonland hardwood forests where their principle diet is beetle larvae found in dead-standing trees, and each mating pair requires about 6 square miles of area for an adequate diet.
In the past few years the bird has been spotted on Louisiana's Pearl River and in the Cache River NWR of Arkansas where its existence has been documented and confirmed by scientists and ornithologists from Cornell University. With word about the rediscovery spreading around the world since April, 2005, interest in seeing the woodpecker has been high and growing among birdwatchers and nature lovers. At issue is getting to places where the bird might be seen, and that means entering a swamp by boat or on foot into places not accessible by automobiles.
Canoeman River Guide Services is proud to offer Ivory-billed Woodpecker tours for those interested in an opportunity to see and hear a very rare and beautiful bird that only a handful of people have seen in the past 60+ years. Trips are available for 2-day/1-night or 5-day/4-night adventures that include guides, accommodations, meals, shuttles and boat rentals. Packages are available for luxury or conventional accommodations. Demand for these trips is expected to be very high and advance reservations are strongly recommended. A strict limit on daily visitors is expected to be imposed for the purpose of preserving the refuge and protecting the habitat of the birds that live there.
The optimum time to search for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker is during late fall through early spring months when trees are bare of leaves that hinder observation, though trips can be arranged for anytime of the year, river and weather conditions permitting. Book your trip now to assure getting the dates you want for your chance to be one of a few who will have the opportunity to see this rare bird in its natural environment.
Contact Canoeman River Guide Services today for complete turnkey planning and coordination of your next canoe or canoe camping trip.