Sunday, October 3, 2010

New Tanner Photos of Ivory-billed Woodpecker Discovered

Stephen Lyn Bales worked closely with Nancy Tanner while doing research on his new book “Ghost Birds—Jim Tanner and the Quest for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker 1935-1941.”  Bales book is about the life of James Tanner, the first and only person to do a scientific study on Ivory-billed Woodpeckers.  During the course of research Nancy Tanner discovered a box with old negative.  In that box were six unknown negatives of “Sonny Boy”(pictured above); an immature ivorybill that Tanner had banded in the Singer Tract during his 1939 field season.  When Bales saw the negatives he was astounded, for he new that he was holding negatives  that were unknown.  In Chapter 17 of "Ghost Birds" Bales relates in exquisite detail the toils of Tanners’ adventure with Sonny Boy, from spiking the tree and retrieving  Sonny Boy to the excitement of taking the photos of the nestling as it climbed over J. J. Kuhn.  The newly discovered images and the story of its significance has been published in the September issue of Smithsonian magazine.  Follow this link to read about this historic find.

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