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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 06, 2014

FORTEAN BIRD NEWS FROM THE WATCHER OF THE SKIES

What has Corinna's column of fortean bird news got to do with Cryptozoology?

Well, everything actually!

In an article for the first edition of Cryptozoology Bernard Heuvelmans wrote that cryptozoology is the study of 'unexpected animals' and following on from that perfectly reasonable assertion, it seems to us that whereas the study of out-of-place birds may not have the glamour of the hunt for bigfoot or lake monsters, it is still a perfectly valid area for the Fortean zoologist to be interested in. 

  • Swan-killing plan ruffles feathers in Prospect Par...
  • Bushfires bad news for rare bird species
  • Swedish and British egg collectors jailed after RS...
  • 11 vultures of rare species found dead in Nawalpar...
  • NATURAL HISTORY: Winter butterflies

    While filling up my bird feeders, I glanced up and saw a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly in the roof of the shed. As I looked around, I found about fifteen more, wings neatly folded, just hanging around, waiting for spring to arrive. The old brick shed has a door that fits where it touches, but that’s exactly what these butterflies need, tucked up between the roof beams, out of the wind, but nice cool temperatures that don’t vary too much. The gaps around the door will allow them safe passage into a bright, spring morning where they will warm up and continue their journey, later in the year.
    Image by Deb Depledge
    Butterflies technically don’t hibernate, as insects they go into a dormant state when they overwinter. Many butterflies go into this dormant period as an egg, pupa or caterpillar, but some survive the winter months as adults. Red Admiral, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma and Brimstone all go through the winter, waiting for the spring when they can breed. You can sometimes see Red Admirals on warm, sunny winter days as they don’t tend go into full dormancy, as the others do.

    TODAY'S BIG CAT ROUND UP


    The hunt for British Big Cats attracts far more newspaper-column inches than any other cryptozoological subject. 

    There are so many of them now that we feel that they should be archived by us in some way, so we are publishing a regular round-up of the stories as they come in. 

    The worldwide mystery cat phenomenon (or group of phenomena, if we are to be more accurate) is not JUST about cryptozoology. At its most basic level it is about the relationship between our species and various species of larger cat. That is why sometimes you will read stories here that appear to have nothing to do with cryptozoology but have everything to do with human/big cat interaction. As committed Forteans, we believe that until we understand the nature of these interactions, we have no hope of understanding the truth that we are seeking. 

  • US SIGHTING: Big Cat Brought To Animal Control In ...
  • NEWSLINK: Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson advocates for...
  • NEWSLINK: Cat terror in west UP: Maneater among 4 ...
  • US SIGHTINGS: More Mountain Lion Hunters Than Deer...

  • US SIGHTINGS: Unconfirmed big cat sightings contin...
  • THE GONZO BLOG DOO-DAH MAN GOES AWAY

    The Gonzo Daily - Thursday
    I felt utterly horrid yesterday, but it was one of those debilitating 24 hour colds (touch wood) and I feel full of the joys of spring (albeit with a slightly sore throat) today. So it is back to the grindstone. Neither Saskia or Helen turned up yesterday for various reasons to do with Sas's college committments and the horrid weather, which was a blessing in disguise because it meant that I could disappear off to bed with little Archie and a clear conscience. Archie is, by the way, a small dog, just in case you think I am being even more decadent than usual. While I was asleep my new mixing desk arrived. As some of you may know Iam upgrading my recording studio set up because I have a whgole slew of exciting new projects in the pipeline. However, (as some of you may also know) I have a bad habit of not reading the adverts on eBay properly, and on this occasion it has turned round and bitten me on the bum. Because said mixing desk is enormous - nearly three times the size I thought it was, so the converted potato shed which doubled (triples?) as my stufy, office, editing suite and recording studio, as well as being home to two colonies of tropical cockroaches and various tropical fish, now needs a major overhaul just to fit the blasted thing in...
    THE GONZO TRACK OF THE DAY: James Brown - It's a Man's world
    http://gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-gonzo-track-of-day-james-brown-its.html
    Dave Bainbridge has just posted this message on Indie GoGo
    http://gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.com/2014/02/dave-bainbridge-has-just-posted-this.html
    Keyboardist Geoff Downes Discusses New Dance Orchestra, Asia
    http://gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.com/2014/02/keyboardist-geoff-downes-discusses-new.html
    Apart from other things, you will be pleased to hear that I have already begun working on Issue 64 of the Gonzo Weekly.
    And the best part is IT's COMPLETELY FREE!!!
    To make sure that you don't miss your copy of future issues make an old hippy a happy chappy and subscribe
    http://eepurl.com/r-VTD

    PS. If you are already a subscriber but think that you haven't been receiving your copies please check your spam filters. For some reason known only to the Gods of the internet, some e-mail programmes automatically count the magazine as 'spam' probably because it comes from a mass mailer. Either that or they are just jealous of our peerless content

    *  The Gonzo Daily is a two way process. If you have any news or want to write for us, please contact me at  jon@eclipse.co.uk. If you are an artist and want to showcase your work, or even just say hello please write to me at gonzo@cfz.org.uk. Please copy, paste and spread the word about this magazine as widely as possible. We need people to read us in order to grow, and as soon as it is viable we shall be invading more traditional magaziney areas. Join in the fun, spread the word, and maybe if we all chant loud enough we CAN stop it raining. See you tomorrow...

    *  The Gonzo Daily is - as the name implies - a daily online magazine (mostly) about artists connected to the Gonzo Multimedia group of companies. But it also has other stuff as and when the editor feels like it. The same team also do a weekly newsletter called - imaginatively - The Gonzo Weekly. Find out about it at this link: www.gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.com/2012/11/all-gonzo-news-wots-fit-to-print.html

    * We should probably mention here, that some of our posts are links to things we have found on the internet that we think are of interest. We are not responsible for spelling or factual errors in other people's websites. Honest guv!

    *  Jon Downes, the Editor of all these ventures (and several others) is an old hippy of 54 who - together with his orange cat (who is currently on sick leave in Staffordshire) and two very small kittens (one of whom is also orange) puts it all together from a converted potato shed in a tumbledown cottage deep in rural Devon which he shares with various fish, and sometimes a small Indian frog. He is ably assisted by his lovely wife Corinna, his bulldog/boxer Prudence, his elderly mother-in-law, and a motley collection of social malcontents. Plus.. did we mention the orange cat?

    DALE DRINNON: Updates

    ADMINISTRATIVE NOTICE, 29th Jan
    Yesterday I posted two news stories from Facebook and this morning  I found two notices that I had posted fake stories created by jokesters

    I have been having a hard time lately because my computer's power keeps getting cut off and also because this Blogger is giving me technical difficulties. But that is not really any excuse for publishing questionable material and I consider both stories to have been poor choices to run here. Both stories have been yanked.

    Please bear with me, the blogs are still not yet back up to regular production yet

    Amphibians and Reptiles of Sanibel and Captiva Islands, Florida: A Natural History.

                Press Release 1/31/14---Amber Publishing (Ft. Myers, FL) and Ralph Curtis Publishing (Sanibel, FL) have joined resources to publish the new four-color book,Amphibians and Reptiles of Sanibel and Captiva Islands, Florida: A Natural History.
                This beautifully illustrated book was written by retired Sanibel sea turtle biologist Charles LeBuff and herpetologist Chris Lechowicz of the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation. Their book summarizes more than a 50-year study on the herpetofauna of Southwest Florida and in particular the two famous barrier islands. All amphibians and reptiles that have been documented on Sanibel and Captiva islands are included, and a four-species supplemental list is appended for historical purposes.
    Amphibians and Reptiles of Sanibel and Captiva Islands Florida: A Natural History is totally unlike contemporary books on the subject in that it is not an ordinary “field guide,” but a readable reference book that brings history and biology into perspective. The book is a crowning achievement for the authors and a major contribution to the herpetology of Florida.
    The authors called on Bill Love and Daniel Parker, both well-known herpetological photographers, to photograph animals for their book. Both men contributed their finest work, and the result is remarkable.
    In total, this book contains 118 color plates, 20 color range maps, seven color and black and white maps, and five black and white historical illustrations. The book is published in the flexi-bound cover style and contains 304 pages (including Glossary, Notes, Bibliography, a Cited Literature section, and two indexes. The book measures 7.75 by 10.25 inches overall. C. Kenneth Dodd, Jr. Ph.D. a prominent scientist affiliated with the University of Florida writes the Foreword.
    The publishers encourage direct sales and will ship only autographed copies. This book is priced at a reasonable $29.95. U.S. purchasers should include $4.00 for shipping costs—a total of $33.95. Online purchasers who wish to use credit cards via PayPal will find an order link at:

    OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today