FALSE: A Rare Red Owl

A photograph purportedly showing a rare red owl with blue eyes is just the latest in digital owl image fakery.

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Claim: A photograph show a rare red owl with blue eyes.


Example: [Collected via Facebook, October 2015]

There was a picture of a red owl on face book with blue eyes … do they exist?

Origins: In October 2015 we added another photograph to our archive of fake owl images: joining the digitally created teal owl, rainbow owl, and two cute little owlets was a purported picture of a rare red owl with blue eyes:

madagascar red owl

The above-displayed image has been circulating online since at least May 2015 and is sometimes shared with the claim that it depicts an owl native to New Guinea, bit it didn’t go viral until it was shared by the 3dfirstaid  visual architecture Facebook page on 1 October 2015.

Regardless of when and where this image originated, it has clearly been digitally manipulated. According to Owl Pages, the original picture was taken by photographer Brian Santos and shows a Whitehead’s Scops Owl from the Philippines:

scops owl

Last updated: 2 November 2015

Originally published: 2 November 2015