Monday, February 09, 2009

Summary of my Luneau postings

For referencing and archiving, here are links to the posts in which I laid out my own independent analysis of the controversial video of a large woodpecker filmed by David Luneau:

1. Flight mechanics
Wingbeat rate
Pileated flight mechanics
Luneau bird flight mechanics
Estimated distances and angles in the video
Animation of frame-by-frame interpretation of first 0.6 second of video

2. Black-and-white patterns: Plumage versus digital artifacts
Introduction: reality versus artifacts
Detailed frame-by-frame examination
Quick look at four key frames

3. Responses to other analyses published online
Response to Martin Collinson's paper
Response to Louis Bevier's website
Answers to Sibley et al's five questions

4. Comparisons to Imperial Woodpecker film published in 2011
Imperial Woodpecker versus Luneau bird
Furthr analysis of wingbeat frequency issues

Also relevant is my general discussion of video interpretation as a bird identification tool. It was triggered by one of Mike Collins' videos, but includes points of more general applicability.

As these video postings have gotten buried deep in my archives I thought I should gather the links together for reference. I'll add a sidebar link to this post so that they will remain easily accessibly in case any future historians might delve into this bizarre episode in the history of birding and field ornithology.


At 9:15 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hi, Bill:
After reading your comments on the Luneau video, I pulled out my DVD of the video and watched it on my new HD flat screen today. I hadn't watched it in a long time and had only seen it before on my computer and my crappy old TV. I was amazed how much difference it made!

After watching it, I can only say that if skeptics are claiming that the bird in the video is a Pileated Woodpecker, they are dead wrong. On the big screen, it was obvious that there was a large amount of white on the underwing of the bird. Also, the wingspan is significantly wider than a Pileated, and the wing-beat is clearly different.

So, if it isn't a Pileated...

At 1:14 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Oops--I meant the overwing of the bird. Sorry for the confusion.

At 12:27 PM, Blogger Birdman said...

Bill: I will be reviewing your analysis carefully but taking my time about it.
I have publicly challenged David Sibley to a public debate on the video and the Bayou de'View epoch of research.
I was long involved from the beginning but really quit during the mess of 2005-06 when Cornell brought everyone and the dogs in. This was a mistake.

However, that there was a non Pileated Woodpecker in that Arkansas swamp is not even a debatable thing to me. The bird in David's video is probably not 100% stake my life on it verifiable. But it is certainly not a Pilaeated. I'd put 99% Ivory-billed on it, but when I first saw it about 60 days after I had joined the secret team, I felt without the analysis that it was indeed an Ivory-bill. But the video might never get recognition beyond the Sasquatch of the other creature.

It was my job to document the Ivory-bill and I spent 14 months ad endured a divorce to attempt to do so. Obviously, I failed. But not from lack of effort, field expertise nor from lack of encounters.

Thanks for taking the time to put a lot of effort into this.


Tim Barksdale
Birdman Productions


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