ibisbill's picture

Salman Rushdie mystery bird

Observed: 19th September 2012 By: ibisbill
Salman Rushdie mystery bird

I spotted this bird in very interesting BBC documentary The Fatwa, Salman's Story, about Salman Rushdie and the Satanic Verses affair. Soon after the fatwa was announced Rushdie took refuge with friends in rural Wales. The film shows this exotic species in their garden. What is it and what was it doing in the middle of Wales?! I have uploaded a still from the film but much better to view the film on iPlayer here
The bird is clearly seen at 21.42. Weird!

Species interactions

No interactions present.


Syrphus's picture

These do escape now and then

These do escape now and then from captivity, but I would want to be assured that the clip really was filmed in Wales.



recording wildlife with The Recorder's Year on www.hbrg.org.uk/TRY.html.

Donald Hobern's picture


Much more likely somehow to be an overseas clip.

Donald Hobern

Donald Hobern's picture

Another comment

As I mentioned, I can't watch the video (in Oslo airport right now). However, even if the friends in question hosted Rushdie in Wales, did the documentary actually assert that they were in Wales when this was filmed? Even the same friends may no longer be in the same place...

Donald Hobern

ibisbill's picture

Salman Rushdie mystery bird

I don't think it's a northern cardinal, looks more like some kind of mousebird to me, though don't see a mousebird that fits.
I can't be totally sure this clip was filmed in Wales but they show the inside and outside of the house in Wales and if the bird wasn't filmed there some rather tricky editing is going on (the bird is filmed through what appears to be the farmhouse window) and don't see why they would go to the trouble to insert an exotic bird into the scene...

I wonder if you can identify this moth which perched on our window in London N1.

Roger Gilbert's picture

Surely there is a ......

problem with this listing as it says observed 19/09/12 and this is plainly not the case. No one knows when the film was shot or as has been pointed out where.

Howardian Local Nature Reserve

RoyW's picture

New York?

I would suspect that the bird was filmed in New York, and would guess that that is where most of the filming took place, with the "Welsh Farmhouse" being a 'reconstruction' which may was more than likely filmed elsewhere. (The film states than Salman Rushdie moved to New York). Film and documentary makers rarely make any effort to find out if the wildlife they are showing actually occurs where they are claiming the film is set (except for wildlife documentaries of course).