Friday, November 13, 2009

Mike Collins 11-5-2009 Video

I made it out to visit the local Red-headed Woodpecker tribe this morning and shot some deliberately mediocre video of birds in flight for comparison purposes. I'll post sample frames and side-by-side comparisons later, but it is quite clear that they are a very close match to the bird in Mike Collins' recent video. Flight style, silhouette (including apparent long pointed wings in many frames, and the shape of the head and tail), and location of white in wings are extremely similar.

In addition to posting the direct comparisons, I think there's some interesting discussion to be had here about video interpretation in general and this particular video specifically. A few of the items I'll likely get in to:

--The cognitive/perceptual phenomena that lead many people, including me, to think "Wow that looks like an Ivorybill!" on first viewing, including some who have repeatedly looked at many of Mike's other videos and said quite the opposite.

--Interpreting video is not just a matter of looking at a big heap of low-quality still images; this is a relatively new thing in the birding world and overall I don't think most birders have really begun to fully comprehend it.

--Once the correct species ID is arrived at and suitable comparison material is obtained, everything lines up very neatly and consistently.

More to come...

UPDATE: More details and comparison here.


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