Unidentified bird - more misinformation

To: <>
Subject: Unidentified bird - more misinformation
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2013 10:56:58 +1100
Hello All,

No one else has mentioned that they have contacted the company about this
bird, so to save them being inundated with questions from all you eager
people, I forward this to you to indicate that I have asked them and will
let you know if I get a response. Good of Anthony to raise this. 


-----Original Message-----From: Philip Veerman 
Sent: Thursday, 21 February 2013 10:42 AM       To:

Subject: About your "Blue Fairy Wren of Australia" logo

Dear Sir,

It has come to notice about your website and your "Blue Fairy Wren of
Australia" logo. Australian ornithologists have had a discussion about what
the bird in your website photo actually is. Most first thinking was that the
photo is a fake (and in the end realising it is part faked). So that means
that many extra people have looked at your website. It is nice that you
chose such a popular Australian bird for your logo. You even cited the Birds
in Backyards project. However the photo used is clearly not any Australian
bird. Apart from the photo, there is no bird properly called "Blue Fairy
Wren", although the name is close and the information in your text is
generally good. Australia has many species of Fairy-wrens. The males of most
of which are mostly blue. The most common one known to most people is the
Superb Fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus) and that is the one your text refers to,
it is often called just "Blue Wren". So to that extent you are close. The
really interesting thing about these birds is their life style and their
great sexual activity. However it looks nothing like the bird on your
website. This is very strange, as the Superb Fairy-wren is such a common and
easily findable species and there are no doubt a vast number of photos of it
easily available.  

I thought it was a photo of the Emperor Fairy-wren (Malurus cyanocephalus)
from Papua New Guinea. It does look very close to that. At least I gave the
benefit of the doubt of having a bird that is closely related and from the
same genus and region of the world. However there has been a clearly much
better match found. It has become clear that the bird in the photo is
actually a South American bird, the Masked Gnatcatcher (Polioptila
dumicola), with all the greys shifted to blues. That bird is no close
relation to our Fairy-wrens. 

So it is amusing or astonishing to think how this happened and why you would
choose what is probably an obscure (certainly to Australian), geographically
distant and unrelated species. Someone has pointed out that "It seems
possible to me that somebody merely jacked up the saturation to make the
photo prettier, and then it was later misidentified.  There are many copies
of the image on the internet, so I assume the company using the image in the
first linking to it was just copying it from somewhere else."  I am letting
you know and maybe you can tell us how this happened and even better put the
right bird on your website. I also mention that you spell Sydney wrong. 

Philip Veerman
24 Castley Circuit
Kambah  ACT  2902


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