This case study focuses on images in three Science articles on the ivory-billed woodpecker, whose rediscovery was recently heralded. Because the primary piece of evidence is a frustratingly fuzzy four-second video, two groups of authors ultimately disagree on its interpretation and the same still video images that are used to argue for the sighting are used to argue against it. Given that the authors are making taxonomic arguments, images that closely resemble reality are employed. These images, like all images, are coded, and this analysis seeks to unlock these visual codes to reveal how meaning is made at the site of production, the site of the image, and the site of the audience. It also exposes how meaning making at the site of the image fueled the controversy.