The ivory-billed woodpecker is one crazy-looking bird. A flaming crest of red feathers springs from its coal-black head. Two perfectly circular pale eyes affix to its face like a pair of tailored buttons (see Figure 26-1). Snowy trailing wing feathers offset its preened dark body. At nearly 20 inches long, the largest of its kind in the United States, this woodpecker appears not so much to be a bird, but more a surprising flourish of stark, midcentury graphic design perched within the swampy virgin forests of the American South. Along with its dramatic appearance, the bird teaches us a crucial lesson about persuasion.