What the eye doesn't see: The prevalence of fraud in ornithology

Andrew H.J. Harrop*, J. Martin Collinson, Tim Melling

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


There is a tendency to see examples of fraud in ornithology as rare aberrations. This paper outlines some known and suspected historical examples of fraud, and argues that fraud of one kind or another has occurred more or less consistently, if uncommonly, in ornithology. Although most of the examples discussed are from Britain, it is likely that similar examples could be found in the archives of many nations. It is also likely that small-scale fraud continues today and is something that the ornithological community should be aware of. In particular, this has implications for the level of proof required by those assessing records of rarities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-257
Number of pages22
JournalBritish Birds
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2012


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