The Only Known Photographic Evidence of an Imperial Woodpecker

By Ben • Uncategorized • 30 Oct 2011

The video, filmed in 1956 was the last confirmed sighting of an Imperial Woodpecker. Read more about it:

I was photographing woodpecker skins at Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology when an assistant curator brought me a tray containing more than a dozen specimens of Campephilus imperialis—the mightiest woodpecker that ever lived. I was absolutely stunned by the beauty and majesty of these colossal birds. As big as ravens, they easily dwarfed their closely related cousin, the American Ivory-billed Woodpecker. I knew right then that I would someday travel to the rugged high country of Mexico’s Sierra Madre Occidental to search for these birds, which most researchers consider to be either one of the rarest species on Earth—just inches from falling over the abyss into oblivion—or already extinct.


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