"....The truth is out there."
-- Dr. Jerome Jackson, 2002 (... & Agent Fox Mulder)
“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
"All truth passes through 3 stages: First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident."
-- Arthur Schopenhauer
Friday, August 21, 2009
-- BirdLife International --
With the Cebu Flowerpecker (here and here) as a motivator, sounds like prestigious BirdLife International may take a more active role in the search for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker (as well as other "lost" species). If any reader knows greater details of this endeavor love to hear of it (email or comment section)....
Bill Pulliam's experience continues here.
It looks like a photograph, but I sure have not seen any bona fide color photos of a living IBWO before--I was not aware any existed.
The credit is to Tomasz Cofta, apparently a Polish illustrator and photographer. I wonder if it is a Photoshopped illustration based on a photo of another species--that is what it looks like to me. Not sure though--anybody have any information?
If she relays their response on to me I'll pass it along, or maybe she will respond here herself.
1-It makes it look like there are recent color photos of the IBWO of such quality, which there are not. (The image is clearly recent, and not a vintage photo from the 1930's, say--the high speed exposure, and the digital noise in the background--instead of grain--make it look, to me, like a digital photo.)
2-The body and wing shape really do look like those of a Pileated. I would expect there to be some distinctive IBWO features, such as long primaries, visible in a genuine photo of this quality. (Take a look at some of the best photo of the Singer Tract IBWO in flight--the bird looks quite different from a PIWO.)
This reminds me of some Cornell web pages trumpeting the "rediscovery", where they put up a colorized photo of a Singer Tract bird--they should have put up a blob from the Luneau video--that would have been the honest thing to do.
I think I'm going to disagree, too, that this sort of thing is "OK because it is common on the Internet". I don't think doctored photos are all that common on the Internet, especially photojournalism or nature photography. Adding field marks to make one bird appear to be another--I've not seen it, except as a joke. (Editing to remove imperfections, adjusting contrast, etc., is common, but that is quite different.) Such doctoring of a photo is a clear violation of ethics in photojournalism.
Years ago when I adopted the logo for this blog, someone immediately emailed me excitedly asking if that was a photo of a recently found nest and birds --- it never occurred to me that someone might mistake the pic as real and recent and I'd only labeled it "picture courtesy of Julie Zickefoose;" I suspect BirdLife's faux pas was just as unthinking, even though I understand people's concerns.
Since BirdLife is a British organization, might be interesting to hear from some of our Brit friends about the use of contrived images by the press in their part of the world.
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