Ivory-Billed Woodpecker

Because of the interest generated by the recent unconfirmed ivory-billed woodpecker sighting on the Pearl River WMA, we are offering these tips to help observers distinguish the extremely rare ivory-bill from the similar, but fairly common, pileated woodpecker.

Ivory-Billed Woodpecker Pileated Woodpecker
Large white patch on back of bird perched Back of bird perched with wings folded is almost all black
Upper surface of wings in flight has large white area on trailing edge Upper surface of wings in flight is mostly black
Under surface of wings in flight has white area on leading edge and large white area on the trailing edge seperated by black down the middle of each wing Under surface of wings in flight has large white area on the leading edge only
Beak is off-white Beak is gray
Crest of female is all black Crest of female is mostly red
Bird flies straight Bird flies with an undulating pattern