WAMU 88.5 : The Diane Rehm Show

Tim Gallagher: "Imperial Dreams: Tracking the Imperial Woodpecker Through the Wild Sierra Madre"

Naturalist Tim Gallagher is obsessed with rare birds. A decade ago, the editor-in-chief of "Living Bird," the magazine of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, joined Diane to talk about his rediscovery of the legendary ivory-billed woodpecker. Now, Gallagher relays his current pursuit to save the giant imperial woodpecker of Mexico’s Sierra Madre Mountains. No one knows whether this rare bird is extinct. Gallagher describes his dangerous expedition into this remote region of Geronimo and Pancho Villa where he dodged armed drug traffickers and kidnappers.

Imperial Woodpecker On Film

The late William L. Rhein of Pennsylvania comments on viewing his 1956 expedition film from Durango, Mexico, in which he captured a female Imperial Woodpecker -- the only photographic evidence of the bird ever found.

Read An Excerpt

Excerpt from Tim Gallagher's "Imperial Dreams: Tracking the Imperial Woodpecker Through the Wild Sierra Madre." Copyright 2013 by Tim Gallagher. Reprinted here by permission of Atria Books. All rights reserved.

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