Believed to be extinct since 1944, a magnificent ivory billed woodpecker is spotted for the first time since then by an amateur bird-watcher, Gene Starling, along the Cache River in eastern Arkansas on 11th February 2004.
Since then his discovery has sparked a wave of scientific interest. Studies are still unable to determine if the sightings were of one individual or reflective of several individuals in the area.
The question of whether mating pairs exits also remains to be answered.
See this report in "Man shares story of finding ivory-billed woodpecker." AP report on CNN, 02 May 2005.
See also "Extinct" Woodpecker Flies Back from the Beyond, Science News at Scientific American.com, 29 April 29.