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BIRD OF THE WEEK
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Campephilus principalis
IUCN STATUS: Critically Endangered
TREND: Probably extinct
HABITAT: Hardwood swamps and pine forests.
The largest of its tribe in the United States, the impressive Ivory-billed Woodpecker was also called the “Lord God Bird,” after the typical reaction of people who saw it swoop into view. This charismatic species inhabited untouched bottomlands and swamps that once stretched across the southeastern United States.
The Ivory-billed Woodpecker was never a common bird, since it depended upon enormous, unbroken expanses of southern swamps providing the space and food it needed to thrive. Once its habitat began to disappear due to uncontrolled logging, the woodpecker became increasingly scarce. It was frequently shot by hunters and collectors, which likely contributed to its disappearance.