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 06, 2009


Last night Richard and I wandered up to The Farmers Arms at about nine. At the top of Chapel Street the dude who owns the fiush and chip shop had parked his van, and from underneath the van came a scrabbling noise. It was a semi fledged baby jackdaw which had obviously fallen out of its nest on the roof of the village shop.

Every time we tried to catch the poor little bugger, it scuttled further beneath the van, until eventually we had to borrow a pool cue from the pub in order to persuade it to come out into the open.

We picked it up, and this is where the heartrending bit happened: Its parents, alerted to the plight of their youngster by its squawks, divebombed us and started to mob us. I am getting more and more interested in (and impressed by) the social behaviour of corvids, since the two wild crows started visiting our captive one each morning for what I anthropomorphically surmise is a `chat`, or even a `prison visit`.

We got the jackdaw home, and into a hospital cage where we gave it mealworms, wildbird mix, a pheasant egg and some water, covered up its cage with a towel, and left it for the night. I am waiting for one of the qualified folk (Oll or Richard) to wake up before disturbing it, so at the time of writing it is in a state of indeterminancy something like Schrödinger's eponymous Cat.

If it has survived, then it should be fully fledged reasonably soon (in the cold light of day, I see that I overestimated its age last night - but it was the dimpsey), and we shall release it. If not, at least we saved it from being played with and killed by a cat, or stomped on by a drunken teenage lout (of which there were a disturbing number wandering, shouting, round the village last night).

Watch this space...

UPDATE: The little bugger has survived the night, but is looking a little subdued. This is quite understandable, and we hope that he will perk up when he is moved into a proper aviary later today..


Tabitca said...

I am not sure what you call a group of crows(a crowery?) but we have one near us. The birds have taken to sitting on the fence outside my back door and shouting to me on a morning until I put something out for them. They are comical,the way they strut about. They have given the cat a peck before now and chased him off the fence lol.I think they are great birds but they seem to get bad press.
my neighbours think I am slightly mad to ecourage them

Naomi said...

Yay for you two! I hope this darling bird makes a full recovery.

Tabitca, I, too, encourage birds with bad press. A Mockingbird I have named Alexander owns my yard (back and front) and I enjoy watching him parade around. I plan to get him a bird bath and platform with things Mockingbirds like to eat. I have been reading up on it.