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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Thursday, February 18, 2010


I have never considered myself to be a 'twitcher', unless, of course, you take into account the physical repercussions to be incurred after a frenzied, no-holds-barred session on the Stella Artois.

But seriously, my late uncle Sid was a great bird-fancier (the feathered variety), and had a sideboard full of awards and trophies for his prize pigeons. I've also always been a fan of Bill Oddie; from happy childhood memories of watching The Goodies, to his later output as a champion of wildlife, and birds in particular. So I don't know; perhaps it's a combination of these two things that has inspired me to put food out for the local avian contingent.

I've been doing it for years, but what with the snow of recent months, I've been rather more consciencious about making sure that there is enough food--and the right sort--to sustain the population--or at least those that come into my garden. Anything with a high fat content seems to go down well, and has been met with an enthusiastic response from blackbirds, thrushes, sparrows, and even pigeons.
But perhaps my favourite--and most appropriate for the winter season-- is a robin that has appeared regularly since December. I managed to take a picture, which considering that it is hand-held, and on telephoto setting, is the best that I could manage, also considering that I was trying to take the shot through my kitchen window without disturbing him/her.
I think robins are ground-feeders--am I right?--so I put down some fat-ball crumbs, which seemed to do the trick.
Incidentally, did you know how robins first came to be associated with Christmas? It was because postmen in the Victorian era wore red tunics, and got the nickname 'robin red breasts', and as robins were winter birds, they were one of the first images to be put on Christmas cards.

1 comment:

Richard Freeman said...

Funny you should say that Alan. As a kid i was told that it was because the robin was associated with the blood of Christ as a drop fell on it's breast and gave it it's distinctive colour.