Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009


This video was posted up on YouTube a year or so ago with the caption "Unidentified species of bird visiting me in my London backyard". The more cynical amongst you will, no doubt, be expecting another bad tempered Jon Downes rant about people not knowing anything about the natural world. Well you would be wrong.

The bird is (as far as I can tell) an albino peahen, and it is making a most peculiar noise, and whether London is in Ontario or the UK, (or indeed any of the fifteen Londons in the USA or eight in Canada, or one of the two in Australia, or the one in South Africa or even the one in Kiribati) it is not the sort of thing that one expects to see trundling around your garden whilst you are nursing a hangover and trying to make yourself a fried egg sandwich!

1 comment:

Retrieverman said...

Definitely a white peafowl.

What's interesting is that domestic peafowl come in a wide range of colors.


We have two species of Asiatic peafowl in captivity- the Indian or blue peafowl (Pavo cristatus) and the Green peafowl (Pavo muticus). The Indian is more common in both captivity and the wild, but the Southeast Asian Green species is considered vulnerable in the wild.

The two species hybridize in captivity and in those areas where there are wild Green peafowl and feral Indian peafowl. As a result, hybridization between the two species could be a major problem for conserving the Green peafowl. The pure Green peafowl is suspected to be rare in captivity, and most captive birds with the Green phenotype are probably hybrids.

Now, here's something that someone of your discipline might be more interested in. Science was unaware that there was a third species of peafowl living in the Congo River Basin. The Congo peafowl (Afropavo congensis), as it is known, was only cataloged in 1936.

It is considered the "missing link" between peafowl and Guinea fowl, for it lacks the long "train" of tail feathers that the other peafowl have. Peafowl and Guinea fowl can hybridize.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0c/Guinea-hybrids.jpg (Guinea fowl-Pea fowl hybrid is on the right. Peafowl-domestic fowl hybrid is on the left.)

I am a bit of a Galliformes nerd. I really enjoy the blogs and the videos.