Interview with Dr. Jerry Jackson

Ivory-billed Woodpecker
By John James Audubon. Ivory-billed Woodpecker (Campephilus principalis), hand-colored engraving. Male on the left, female on the right.


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Dr. Jerry Jackson is a legend in ornithology, for his life-long fascination with the Ivory-billed Woodpecker.

Dr. Jerry Jackson

I met him on a windy even in Lakes Park, Fort Myers for a chat about the birds of Southwest Florida.

Interview with Dr. Jerome Jackson, a noted ornithologist based in Florida.  And we are talking about Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary near Naples, Florida.  Located in the heart of the Everglades ecosystem of Southwest Florida, Corkscrew swamp is home to raptors, barred owls, songbirds—there were a ton of Northern Cardinals and Carolina Wrens when I visited in April.   And then there are waders—Spoonbills, Egrets, Herons, and most iconically, the Wood Stork.  Corkscrew is famous for that.  The website corkscrew.audobon.org has a list of all the birds along with some informational nuggets.

Wetlands are different from other water bodies (lakes or rivers) and land forms in two ways.  Their water level should not exceed six meters according to the Ramsar Convention and the type of aquatic plants as Dr. Jackson said.  Wetlands need to have standing water for long enough to nourish aquatic plants.  The Ramsar site at ramsar.org lists wetlands in a variety of neat ways: you can see how many each country has.  The US has 36 and India has 26.

Listen to the episode where Dr. Jackson gives fascinating and humorous descriptions of wetlands, biodiversity, and adaptations of Anhingas, Loggerhead Shrikes, Swallow-tailed Kites and Woodpeckers.

Dr. Jackson is the author of the book, In Search of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, found here.

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