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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Saturday, June 20, 2009


Hi Jon,

I have just got around to reading Tristan's blog entry Red Sparrows and it got me thinking
(a mysterious event in its own right) about an unusual bird that I saw in about 1962 or '63. I have been unable to identify the creature despite describing it to many ornithologists over the years and working my way through vast numbers of bird identification books.

I now wonder if any of the knowledgeable CFZ readers may be able to identify it, even though the description is perhaps now a wee bit fuzzy with age.

My sighting of this bird took place early (around 6.30 am) one summer morning on a farm near the village of Stanley in Derbyshire. While I was making breakfast over an open fire, the bird perched on a fence post, no more than 12 to 15 feet away and seemed to have no concern about me or the other lad moving around and certainly was not frightened, even if we went closer to it. It stayed in the same place, as though interested in what we were doing, for about 10 minutes then flew off and we never saw it again during our stay.

This bird was slightly larger than an adult male blackbird (perhaps the size of a collared Dove) but had the body-shape and posture of a blackbird. The beak was the same shape as a blackbird but black in colour. Its plumage was jet black and very glossy (almost like wet paint), except on the breast where it had a very glossy, vivid scarlet bib from the throat to just in front of the legs.
There was no ring on its legs so it was presumably wild rather than a captive-bred escapee.


1 comment:

Michael said...

Could be a Red-breasted Blackbird from central and south America,or a Redwinged Blackbird,but they only have red patch on "shoulder".