First we had Mr. Guppy with his very odd IBWO photo, a photo that is either the best photo of an Ivory-billed taken in the last 60 years, or an outright fake.
Then, Mike McDowell did some detective and discovered that the last (only?) color photo ever taken of an Eskimo Curlew may not be what it seems.
Now, eagle-eyed BINACer Mike Miller sent me a like to yet another "controversial" rare bird photo: this time the subject is a Barn Owl that was allegedly photographed in Ontario. The photo was taken by a photographer who had previously taken a stunning photo of a Harris' Hawk in Quebec; needless to say, there aren't very many wild Harris' Hawks in Quebec, further adding to the suspicion.
Check out the discussion here: http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/ONTB.html
And the photo that caused the controversy is here:
http://www.pbase.com/drhangar/image/56622880 Note the bare legs, and then look at one of the photos Mike also provided to me of captive Barn Owls, including here; the part of the leg where the "jess" would be corresponds to the part of the leg that is bare on the Ontario Barn Owl.
OK, since the link no longer works, here is the original "fraudulent" photo:
I'm not really sold either way; if anyone can find a link to further discussion about this bird, please send it to me.
Who knew birding could have so many shady characters???