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Ghost Birds: Jim Tanner and the Quest for the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, 1935-1941 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
When Jim Tanner set off on his first expedition, he didn’t know he would observe a species which became his doctoral research project, and become famous for its absence. He began the journey with Arthur Allen, Director of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, when they set out to film birds and record their songs. They had none of the equipment we take for granted today, hand held and compact. Their sound laboratory alone weighed around 1,500 pounds. Their field equipment was heavy, bulky and cranky. In the end, the researchers filmed and recorded the Ivory Billed Woodpecker, already disappearing from our continent. Turner then spent three years searching for these ghost birds. He completed the research and became a professor at a school which would later be named East Tennessee State University. After service with the Navy during World War II, he taught at the University of Tennessee. He died believing the Ivory Billed Woodpecker had become extinct in his lifetime. No verifiable results of recent searches contradict that conclusion. Mr. Bales tells the story in a way that prompts the reader to want to learn more. The one disadvantage of this book is that it has not been released as an ebook. An article about Jim Tanner’s wife Nancy appeared in Tennessee Conservationist magazine earlier this year. It could well serve as an afterward for the book. Prior her death in 2014, Nancy Tanner was the last living person to have seen the Ivory Billed Woodpecker.