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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Friday, May 01, 2009


We took this baby bird in today. It has an egg-tooth, so only a few days old. It has downy feathers. It has webbed feet and a very pointed, serrated beak. It was fond in the market place of a small north east town, a long way from water. It squeaks.

I know what it is. Do you?

Jan Edwards, Head of Animal Care
Farplace Animal Rescue - the no-kill animal sanctuary
Farplace, Sidehead, Westgate, County Durham, DL13 1LE


Retrieverman said...

It looks like a common merganser duckling.

It has a sharp bill hook at the tip of its upper, which is used to catch fish. This is a highly piscivorous duck, so they have to be reared on a different diet than typical ducks. A duckling like that one will have a diet of water bugs and water beetles. (Maybe crickets and mealworms are a good substitute?)

This is a merganser hen with her ducklings. They look awfully like the duckling in the photo.


In Europe, it is sometimes referred to as a "goosander."

If it is a different species of "fish duck," then I stand corrected, but I think it is a common merganser. That's my amateur ornithologist's opinion.

Jon Downes said...

I have to admit that I thought it was a dabchick, but Jan said no. I then revised my opinion to that of a grebe, and she just laughed at me..

diancamd3 said...

We took Five common merganser's in. I found them running down a highway. It took us two days to find out what they were.. It was alot of research. Before I found out what they were we lost two. They dont eat seed or duck feed. They love mealworms. The three we have left are doing great. I wanted to know how are yours doing? I thought of getting crickets for them as well. Ours are five days old now. Bless their hearts they ran at least a mile down the highway.. I know I was driving real slow following them to keep them safe. Please email me back asap. diancamd3@hotmail.com