Saturday, October 30, 2010

Ivory-billed Woodpecker Specimen

Male Ivory-billed Woodpecker:  Anniston Museum of
Natural History; Anniston, Alabama
    On March 9, 1890, William Werner took a male Ivory-billed Woodpecker specimen in Hillsbourgh  County, Florida.  Werner found a nest with eggs and both male and female birds present. While Werner was unsuccessful in procuring the female Ivorybill he did manage to shoot the male.  He also procured the nest cavity and eggs.  The male specimen along with the nest cavity and eggs are on display at the Anniston Museum of Natural History in Anniston, Alabama.  
     Living only a few hours from Anniston I made a trip in 2006 to photograph and take measurement of the ivorybill, the nest cavity and entrance.  The cavity entrance measured 4(h) x 3 5/8(w) inches, which seems small for an ivorybill cavity entrance hole.
     The Anniston Museum of Natural History mount is by far the best specimen among all the skins and mounted ivorybills I have encountered.  It is interesting that the taxidermist used red eyes on the mount.  Ivorybills have yellow eyes and to my knowledge there are no written observation reports of an Ivorybill with red eyes.
     If you are interested in seeing this specimen for yourself follow this link, to the museums website for directions and contact information.

Ivory-billed Woodpecker Eggs:  Close-up from above image


  1. Did you happen to measure the length and width of the beak at all?

  2. Joseph, I did measure the length and width of the beak. The Culman length is 69mm, Gape to tip of bill 75mm and width of bill at gape 24mm. Bobby