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Woodpecker searchers need you

Just last week, scientists in Florida reported evidence of finding the Ivory-billed Woodpecker there — the famous bird that was believed extinct, then glimpsed in Arkansas in 2004, and has eluded certainty since. If you have a couple of weeks to spare and would like to help out in a scientific quest, there’s a job for you.

ivory-billed_woodpecker.jpgField biologists from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Audubon Arkansas need volunteer helpers in eastern Arkansas and South Carolina between January 3 and April 21, 2007. It will be tough, hard work, with temperatures below freezing in winter and above 85 degrees in the early spring. You might have to spend 10 to 12 hours in a canoe or at a blind, mainly keeping quiet and still.

But you’ll also receive training in search techniques, data collection, data entry, equipment use, safety, and the natural history of the local ecosystem. Volunteers will go on field trips and learn to use a computer mapping system. And you’ll help provide the dense network of spies that experts say they need to get proof that the bird exists.

If all that appeals to you, and you have two weeks to spare, go to the Cornell site for more info.