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View Full Version : bird stealing coins from car wash machine - real pix or Photoshop® job?


Arnold Winkelried
10-10-2002, 02:47 PM
The title says it all I guess. This site (http://www.coinbird.com/realcoinbird.html) claims to have pictures of a bird pulling coins out of a coin machine. Are these real photographs or some clever image manipulation? My untrained eye doesn't see any indication that the photographs are fake, but I can't imagine that the car wash machine is so uncomplicated that a bird would be able to crawl through the mechanism to pull out coins.

Wartime Consigliori
10-10-2002, 02:56 PM
I dunno.....my BS meter seems to be going off on this one. Something as odd as this (if true) surely would have been on CNN or something.

Plus, why in the world would birds be stealing quarters?

Scarlett67
10-10-2002, 03:04 PM
Snopes says it's true. (http://www.snopes.com/photos/carwash.htm)

Homebrew
10-10-2002, 08:46 PM
The angle of the shadows is right. I don't see any of the tell-tell artifacts of clipping. The colors look balanced. If it's a forgery, it is excellent work. It looks real to me.

Magickly Delicious
10-10-2002, 10:32 PM
Um, they claim that over $4000 in quarters were "found" nearby. That's over 16,000 quarters! How they didn't notice that many lying around makes me think either they're lying or very much exaggerating.

Una Persson
10-11-2002, 12:02 AM
Like the article about the crow making a tool out of a wire recently - this article makes me worry a bit about what the Feathered Ones may do to me someday...

GusNSpot
10-11-2002, 12:17 AM
And you thought the "Birds" were a rock group..... Bwhahahahhaha

:D

Darwin's Finch
10-11-2002, 12:22 AM
One wonders what evil deed they were planning to fund with that money....

Trancey
10-11-2002, 12:25 AM
After taking Graphic Design for 3 years, it's pretty BAD quality, not to mention 110% fake.

flodnak
10-11-2002, 02:09 AM
Originally posted by Wartime Consigliori
Plus, why in the world would birds be stealing quarters? If you'd ever shared your backyard with magpies, you wouldn't be asking this question. OOH, SHINY! (Not that the birds in the photos are magpies, for the record - but then I doubt they're the only bird that steals things Just Because.)

Mangetout
10-11-2002, 02:51 AM
Originally posted by Trancey
After taking Graphic Design for 3 years, it's pretty BAD quality, not to mention 110% fake. The web page design is almost non-existent, that's for sure, but are you suggesting that the photographs are doctored? Please explain your observations and reasoning.

Mangetout
10-11-2002, 02:55 AM
I must admit I fully expected the pictures to show a Corvid, but that's a starling if I'm not mistaken.

pulykamell
10-11-2002, 05:08 AM
Originally posted by Trancey
After taking Graphic Design for 3 years, it's pretty BAD quality, not to mention 110% fake.

Well, I don't think argument from authority will help us here. I've been professionally working as a photographer for over 5 years, and I'd bet the house it's a real photo. So much for expertise, but here are my reasons:

Everything about it is right on. The lighting is consistent. The shadows are correct. The reflections of color from the bird's plumage are evident in the silver of the coin box. The poorish image quality is consistent throughout the photo. The pic of the bird flying looks exactly like a pic of this type would look. The motion blur is correct, the plane of focus is consistent.

I highly, highly, highly doubt this is a fake. Besides that, why the heck would anyone fake a photo like this? Doesn't that seem a bit... odd?

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
10-11-2002, 07:31 AM
Photo Lab Tech here.

Proportions are right. The shot of the bird inside the coin cup is a little weird, but that may just be the emotional reaction to the incogruity of the scene.

I can't rule it out as genuine. But, I mostly work in Aerial Photography.

Eats_Crayons
10-11-2002, 12:13 PM
Originally posted by flodnak
If you'd ever shared your backyard with magpies, you wouldn't be asking this question. OOH, SHINY! (Not that the birds in the photos are magpies, for the record - but then I doubt they're the only bird that steals things Just Because.) At a wildlife vet centre nearby, a crow named Rodger had the run of the place. He was injured and spent an entire winter indoors swooping around the vet's office. (Now he lives in the park across the street.)

He used to steal syringes. Vetinary staff had to be very concientious about keeping the plastic cover thingies on the needle part because if you set one down for a second he would dive down and try to grab it. He would also go to great lengths to break into drawers and cabinets to steal them. He never did anything with them. He just collected them in a very large stash on top of one of the cabinets. And he'd defend his stash quite emphatically.

By the end of the day, if the vet staff wasn't really vigilant about his thieving, he'd usually have about two dozen syringes and other assorted items like eyedroppers, earrings and the occasional dog biscuit.

Scarlett67
10-11-2002, 12:28 PM
Didn't anyone here read Sterling North's Rascal? I keep thinking of Poe the Crow, who lived up in the belfry of the Methodist church and stole pennies, car keys, and even a diamond engagement ring. "What fun! What fun!"

Ringo
10-11-2002, 12:42 PM
So Trancey, if I read your post correctly, it seems you're asserting that the photos are faked. This runs against the apparent consensus on this thread; would you care to point out to us why you think the photos are faked?

KneadToKnow
10-11-2002, 12:56 PM
Originally posted by Mangetout
I must admit I fully expected the pictures to show a Corvid, but that's a starling if I'm not mistaken.
Good bag, check.
Cheap shoes, check.
<sniff sniff>
L'Air du Temps, check.

Yep, that's a Starling all right.

Delta-9
10-11-2002, 01:41 PM
Originally posted by Trancey
After taking Graphic Design for 3 years, it's pretty BAD quality, not to mention 110% fake.

Please share your extensive knowledge with us, would you?

Back off everyone. This guys a professional. Let him do his job now.

Finagle
10-11-2002, 02:02 PM
Originally posted by Wartime Consigliori

Plus, why in the world would birds be stealing quarters?

It's one of those counting crows.

Arnold Winkelried
10-11-2002, 02:37 PM
Originally posted by pulykamell
...why the heck would anyone fake a photo like this?
And I bet you believe that Neil Armstrong really walked on the moon, eh? Then why won't Buzz Aldrin swear to it on the Bible? :p

Thanks Scarlett67. I didn't think to check Snopes since the link didn't come to me in a mass e-mail, but I forget that the Snopes site covers a wide variety of subjects.

It seems like almost everyone (except Trancey) agrees that the phots are real. I'm still surprise that the bird would be able to crawl inside the machine and pull out quarters. You would think that the quarters would be hidden inside a bin somewhere deep in the bowels of the coin changer.

Arnold Winkelried
10-11-2002, 02:41 PM
correction: almost everyone (except Trancey and Magickly Delicious)

The Bad Astronomer
10-11-2002, 04:30 PM
Originally posted by Arnold Winkelried

And I bet you believe that Neil Armstrong really walked on the moon, eh? Then why won't Buzz Aldrin swear to it on the Bible? :p


Don't make me post to this thread!

Cheesesteak
10-11-2002, 04:50 PM
I'd bet that the birds managed to find a quarter or two accidentaly left in the tray, and just worked their way further into the machine looking for more.

Colibri
10-11-2002, 07:18 PM
Speaking as an ornithologist, I don't see any reason to doubt the story is true. Starlings are hole-nesting birds, and I can believe they might enter the kind of dark cavity represented by the slot just exploring for potential nest sites. And once the found bright shiny objects inside - Bingo!

bare
10-12-2002, 06:52 AM
I always thought starlings were a pox. Next spring I'll be looking for fledgelings that I can train to fetch.

Kamelion
10-12-2002, 07:54 AM
I don't see why this is beyond the capacity for birds.
A bird of the size of those pictured could easily get quite deep into such a machine; and I don't think the intelligence is beyond a bird either.
Of course they are low quality, Trancey. They're amatuer photographs. AMATEUR. This was never intedend to be art.
And there are no artefacts in the photographs of doctoring.
It's real, and it's a cool, amusing story which reminds us not to underestimate our feathred friends.
Why the need to doubt the thing?