New photo reference of Shelley’s crimsonwing finch found in old 1976 book

30 Jan

1976 photo reference of Shelley's crimsonwing cockbird . Visual courtesy: Lippens, Wille

Prof. Dr.Sven Cichon from Germany, who is an avid supporter of the RFCG , recently informed the group that he had seen an old photograph of the Shelley’s crimsonwing finch. The photo appeared in a book from two Belgiums Lippens & Willie titled : Les oiseaux du Zaire in 1976.

1976 was a time when the trading of wild caught birds was still permitted in most countries ( Australia had impossed a total ban on the importing  and exporting of  indiginous birds in 1960 ) and the recreational pastime of birding was beginning to pick up worldwide momentum ( TV in South Africa was still going through its testing stages and commercial TV with natural history documentaries only came about in 1978 )

Photograph taken in the Virungas in 2008. Visual courtesy

The Lippens&Wille photo may well have been taken of a bird in captivity and the foilage ( rosemary ? ) we think is not from its natural habitat . The bird also appears to be quite fluffed up and for some strange reason the proportions appear to be a bit distorted ( This distortion maybe as a result of a camera lensing issue ).

1976 photograph of a cockbird. Visual courtesy Lippens & Wille. "Les oiseaux du Zaire"

 The good news is that it is a second reference of a cockbird, so we can now compare it with what was for many years the only known visual of the Shelley’s crimsonwing finch in the world.

Shelley's crimsonwing skin photographed 2005 by Lorainne Ralph. Durban Natural History Museum

The RFCG would like to thank Prof.Dr Sven Cichon from Germany for bringing this to our attention and if there are any other photographic references of this elusive finch then we would certainly like to hear of them  

Prof. Dr.Sven Cichon

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