The ivory-billed woodpecker is one of the largest woodpeckers in the world at roughly 51 centimetres (20 in; 1.67 ft) long and 76 centimetres (30 in; 2.49 ft) in wingspan. This species inhabited untouched bottomlands and swamps that once stretched across the southeastern United States. Before deforestation and hunting began to shrink its range, the ivory-billed woodpecker had ranged from eastern Texas to North Carolina, and from southern Illinois to Florida and Cuba.

Destruction of the woodpecker's mature or old-growth forest habitat caused populations to decline, and by the 1880s the species was rare. Forest destruction accelerated during the World War I and II war efforts, destroying much of its habitat. Although the species was thought to be extinct, it was rediscovered in Arkansas in 2004. However, extensive searches from 2006–2010 did not produce any definitive evidence of a surviving population. A 2019 five-year review by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service recommended that the ivory-billed woodpecker be removed from the Endangered Species List due to extinction.

Ivory-billed Woodpeckers used extensive stands of large trees and often foraged in areas where many trees had been recently killed by flooding, fire, and other disturbances. They ate mostly large beetle larvae of the longhorn, jewel, and click beetle families.

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