One day in 2008, overlooking a valley in Costa Rica, I finally understood the Ivory-billed Woodpecker was extinct.

Ivory-billed Woodpecker by Mark Catesby, 1754
Detail, Ivory-billed Woodpecker by Mark Catesby (published posthumously in 1754), under CC-by-4.0 license by RawPixel

In late September, the Fish and Wildlife Service declared the Ivory-billed Woodpecker extinct after decades of grief, denial, and mass hysteria. I reported on the story here:

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