My first visit to the Big Woods of eastern Arkansas in search of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker was a big success in every way but one, I did not find the bird. I met some really great birders who volunteered to give up 2 weeks of their own time, and at their own expense, to help in the search.
Notes from my visit can be found on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's ivory-bill web site:
http://www.birds.cornell.edu/ivory/fiel ... d_html/sc1
http://www.birds.cornell.edu/ivory/fiel ... ml/report2
If any birders are thinking about making the trip to Arkanses to look for the bird, here are a few quick tips.
Where to stay: Mallard Point Lodge in Brinkley, Arkansas (lots of other hotels in the area, including the Ivory-bill Inn.)
Where to eat: Get the Ivory-bill cheeseburger at Gene's Bar-B-Que.
Where to look: Canoe or kayak, if you can, the area above and below Bayou de View, about 10 minutes outside of Brinkley. Otherwise hike in to a wide point in the stream and sit quitely. The leaves make it too noisy to walk in this area, at least until later in the year.
When to go: Now until the leaves come out in the spring.
The birding in the area is great. You can get 8 species of woodpeckers in the Big Woods, the only tough one is the ivory-bill.