[Ontbirds]Barn Owl Fraud? Not necessarily

Harold Stiver hstiver at gmail.com
Thu Mar 2 16:20:43 EST 2006

I have taken a close look at the Barn owl image as well as the image Ian
Clark linked to and I can find no conclusive evidence that this is a
doctored photo.

The posts

They are certainly similar but I have placed Ian's submission as a layer on
the original.Of course the images need not have been taken from the same
direction but I could find no evidence that the cracks are the same. The
angles of the top and the markings are very similar but there may be
thousands of similarly manufactured posts.

The barn owl legs.

If we assume that any doctering would involve removal of jesses or bands,
they would probably be done by cloning portions of the legs over the bands.
This would leave similarily colored groups of pixels. There are groups that
look similar but I could find none of the same color value. If it is
doctored, it is done seamlessly.

The Exif information

As noted the exif information agrees with the caption.

The outline of the subject

There is no evidence that the bird was pasted whatever. This is very
difficult to pull off.

Other matters

Many times captive birds have wear on the outside of their bill where they
rub on their perch . I see none on this bird.

I cannot say for sure one way or the other but until there is a proof
otherwise I will take Mr. Cote's word for it. BTW, I don't know him at all.

Regards, Harold Stiver

On 3/2/06, Ian Clark <iclark at cyberus.ca> wrote:
> I agree with Nils, the photo in question appears to have been doctored.
> The stump on which the owl is perched looks very much like one seen at
> Parc
> Omega in Quebec, as seen in the attached link.
> http://community.webshots.com/photo/203396675/1203397089052305271sdTgxD.
> I hope this is not the case, as I can't understand Eric's motivation to do
> such a thing. Looking at his gallery he has taken many fine pictures and
> certainly has nothing to prove in his ability to capture some fine bird
> images.
> Ian Clark
> Sent using cyberus.ca WebMail - http://www.cyberus.ca/
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Harold Stiver
Paris, Canada
hstiver at gmail.com

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