Discussions on the Night Parrot.....Birdforum

To: David Stowe <>, robert morris <>, David Clark <>, Peter Shute <>
Subject: Discussions on the Night Parrot.....Birdforum
From: Nikolas Haass <>
Date: Fri, 11 Oct 2013 05:02:53 -0700 (PDT)
Hi David, David & Peter,

As a scientist I strongly disagree. Sadly, there is absolutely no doubt that 
major image manipulation has taken place in this case. This is not acceptable 
for publication in any medium as it has a serious impact on the validity of the 
presented data. First of all, these pictures (and hopefully at some point the 
videos) should support the evidence of the Night Parrot still being around. 
Second, since they are the only existing photographs, they might be used for 
future reference and may end up as templates for field guides. In this case the 
manipulations will be amplified. A way to fix this very serious issue would be 
the publication of the original raw files and a thorough explanation why the 
pictures had been manipulated prior to release.

To your question, David, 'What do people really want?'
We want unequivocal data supporting evidence of the Night Parrot still being 
around. So far we don't have any acceptable data. To my knowledge neither the 
pictures (original raw files), nor the video (again original raw files), nor 
the call (for reasons discussed in the past) nor the DNA data have been 
published in a scientific peer-reviewed journal.

Here are the guidelines for image manipulation that we use in our field of 
'Digital figures adjusted with computer software are acceptable. However, the 
final image must remain representative of the original data and cannot be 
enhanced, obscured or rearranged. Unacceptable modifications include the 
addition, alteration or removal of a particular feature of an image. All 
digital images in manuscripts accepted for publication will be examined for any 
improper modification and if evidence of such inappropriate modification is 
detected, the Editor of the journal will request the original data to be 
supplied for comparison to the prepared figures and if necessary revoke 
acceptance of the article. Cases of deliberate misrepresentation of data will 
result in revocation of acceptance, and will be reported to the corresponding 
author's home institution or funding agency.'

Best wishes,

Nikolas Haass

Brisbane, QLD

On Friday, October 11, 2013 8:33 PM, David Stowe <> 
Hi Rob,

I heard about it some time ago but deliberately didn't rejoin as I knew i would 
just get myself into an argument :)

Having been at the presentation in Brisbane and seen the video and photos I had 
no doubts at all. Seeing the high res printed cover of Birdlife magazine 
doesn't change anything for me.
The DNA analysis was also positive. What more do people really want?
So what if a few feathers have been cloned? So what if the image has been 
flipped between publications?
Some people really do need to get a life.

I have no doubt that John Young doesn't care what they are saying - nor those 
close to him who have seen more.


On 11/10/2013, at 5:52 PM, robert morris <> wrote:

> All
> I attended John Young's presentation on Night Parrots in Brisbane which was 
> amazing to see. It seemed indisputable and I walked away having witnessed a 
> part of birding history. 
> However, I have just been alerted by UK birding friends to discussions taking 
> place on Birdforum in the UK where there are claiming parts of the photos are 
> cloned and they are casting huge doubts over the record. 
> Some of it can be found here: 
> but you have to join bird 
> forum to see the the entire thread with all the photo analysis. 
> Does anyone know anything about this? Is anyone following the thread and has 
> anyone else looked at this or commented on it?
> I'm not trying to caste aversions or dispute John's record but people should 
> be aware that the record is being questioned by other birding communities. It 
> would be great if someone could set them straight......
> Rob Morris 
> Brisbane, Australia 
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