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University of Iowa News Release


April 19, 2011

UI Museum of Natural History, Iowa City and Cedar Rapids bird clubs host film fund-raiser

cycloramaThe University of Iowa Museum of Natural History, the Cedar Rapids Audubon Society, and the Iowa City Bird Club will screen the feature-length documentary "Ghost Bird" as part of the Laysan Island Cyclorama Celebration and Fundraiser Sunday, May 1, in Macbride Hall Auditorium. The showing is scheduled for 5 p.m., with tickets available in advance and at the door.

Individual tickets are $7.50 in advance or $10 at the door; family tickets (adults plus children 16 and under) are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the Museum of Natural History Gift Shop in Macbride Hall on the UI campus, Lenoch & Cilek Hardware stores, 1550 Mall Drive and 600 N. Dodge St. in Iowa City and on Second Avenue, Coralville; Bird's Eye View in Riverview Square, Coralville; the Johnson County Conservation Education center in Kent Park, rural Oxford; Wildlife Habitat, 166 Collins Road NE, Cedar Rapids; and from various Audubon Society members around the state. See for details.

"Ghost Bird" ( is a nonfiction feature film about a small town in Arkansas and an extinct giant woodpecker, the Ivory-billed woodpecker. Following numerous sightings and its widely announced rediscovery in 2005, the world's best birders have been unable to locate even one "Lord God Bird" after over three years of intensive searching. "Ghost Bird" examines the meaning of hope, faith and the limits of certainty in the quest to resurrect this lost species.

All proceeds from the event will go toward preservation and restoration of the UI Museum of Natural History's Laysan Island Cyclorama. The cyclorama opened on June 15, 1914, and it remains a favorite among the 30,000 people who visit Macbride Hall each year.

The exhibit envelops visitors in a 360-degree panorama of Laysan Island, a three-and-one-half square mile plot of land northeast of Hawaii, which is a nesting ground for countless albatross and home to multiple unique and endangered species. UI faculty members conducted three expeditions to the island between 1902 and 1914, collecting most of the materials in 1911. Since then, a number of the unique species collected have become extinct, making the Cyclorama one of the few places in the world where individuals can view mounted specimens of the Laysan Rail, Laysan Honeycreeper, and Laysan Millerbird.

For more information on the Museum of Natural History visit or call 319-335-0606. For more information on the Iowa City Bird Club, see

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Sarah Horgen, Museum of Natural History, 319-335-0606,; Steve Parrott, University News Services 319-384-0037,; Writer: Ryan Lindsay

PHOTO: Laysan Island Cyclorama at the UI Museum of Natural History