Ghost Bird (2009)

Not Rated   |    |  Documentary

Ghost Bird (2009) Poster

Ghost Bird is a non-fiction feature about a small town in Arkansas, an extinct giant woodpecker and everybody looking for the Holy Grail of birding - the Ivory-billed woodpecker. Following ... See full summary »

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Cast & Crew

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Scott Crocker


Scott Crocker

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User Reviews

9 September 2012 | chas437
| This Documentary Exposes a Great Scientific Debacle
This superb documentary exposes one of the most egregious cases of "faith based scientific fraud" in recent times. This fraud was perpetrated by the most prestigious Ornithological institution in the US no less, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

The manner in which the Lunard video was handled by a team of "researchers" from Cornell is scandalous. This video should have been vetted by all the top field ornithologists in America, before it was published in Science Magazine as definitive proof that Ivory-billed Woodpeckers still persist. Several top "birders", most notably David Sibley, exposed the amateurish mistake almost immediately. But by this point it was too late, the Ivory-bill frenzy was in full swing.

Without going into the details, which are well chronicled in the documentary, Cornell has refused any comment on the situation, hiding behind the weak argument that "it can't be proved that Ivory-billeds are extinct", and hoping that the passage of time will cause this incident to blow over. Meanwhile, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, who originally bought this crock hook, line and sinker, have backed off the Ivory-billed Recovery Plan, stating that "conditions for recovery are inadequate", instead of admitting that the bird is extinct.

For the record, the American Birding Association voted 7-0, not to accept any recent reports of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers. The Florida Rare Bird Committee did the same. This scandal should have shaken the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to its core, but it appears they have been successful at diverting blame, while remaining tight lipped about the entire episode.

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Release Date:

6 May 2009



Country of Origin


Filming Locations

Arkansas, USA

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