Hornbill Bird Misidentification?

Somebody once suggested that some sighting reports of apparent pterosaurs were misidentifications of Hornbill birds. But what sightings? That skeptic made the same mistake as many other skeptics: throwing out generalizations rather than examining specific sighting reports.

But why would any skeptic choose the Hornbill misidentification option? Would it not be to discredit the living-pterosaur idea in general? It is one thing to single out a particular sighting that may have been a Hornbill misidentification, then point out that it was not a living pterosaur. It is quite another, however, to fail to single out any particular sighting, then speculate that sightings in general are misidentifications. Skeptics might just as well confuse science with science fiction.

I don’t imply that no sightings of assumed (by eyewitnesses) pterosaurs are misidentified birds; I know of more than one sighting that was of a misidentified Frigate Bird. But what sighting report was a possible Hornbill bird? Perhaps the skeptic has no specific idea.

Hornbill or Pterosaur

. . . there are still many significant problems . . . to tie this [hornbill] into the Hodgkinson and Hennessy sightings. The above [photograph shows that the] Hornbill has obvious primary feathers. The beak and head are clearly distinguished . . . The tail is not long-thin. And there is nothing like a long thin horn like appendage coming out the back of the head, pointed towards the trunk of the body.

Ropen Dismissed by Smithsonian

With all those negative comments towards those he disagrees with, I wonder if Mr. Switek has ever heard of the word “bulverism.”


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2 thoughts on “Hornbill Bird Misidentification?

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