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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Unlike some of our competitors we are not going to try and blackmail you into donating by saying that we won't continue if you don't. That would just be vulgar, but our lives, and those of the animals which we look after, would be a damn sight easier if we receive more donations to our fighting fund. Donate via Paypal today...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

CFZ PEOPLE: Gavin Lloyd Wilson

Happy Birthday mate

WATCHER OF THE SKIES: Shrikes and Sparrows

As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time, Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... about out of place birds, rare vagrants, and basically all things feathery and fortean.

Because we live in strange times, there are more and more bird stories that come her way, so she has now moved onto the main CFZ bloggo with a new column with the same name as her aforementioned ones...

Tree sparrow numbers get a boost in Cumbria
Tree sparrows (Passer montanus) have suffered a massive decline over the past few years.

Their numbers have dropped by over 90% over the last four decades, but farmers in Cumbria have been playing a part in a conservation project to help them. Called Operation Tree Sparrow, the scheme was set up by the RSPB and involved the erection of over a thousand nestboxes and hundreds of feeding stations on 85 farms in Cumbria, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Merseyside.

Eden farmer Richard Fisher, of Southwaite, said: “I’ve noticed increases in tree sparrows in areas around the nestboxes and areas of wild bird cover, which are a part of my Entry Level Stewardship and Countryside Stewardship schemes.

“These schemes are beneficial to birds and other wildlife and provide good financial incentives for farmers as well.”

You can find out more at:

http://www.thewestmorlandgazette.co.uk/news/farm_and_country/9475762.Cumbria_farmers_give_sparrows_a_boost/ Picture from Wikipedia.

A thorny subject as the butcher bird returns
Out there in the hedgerows of north Wales and deep in Clocaenog forest, mice and small mammals are on high alert. Why? Because the bird with the violent feeding habits has been spotted patrolling the skies. The great grey shrike (Lanius excubitor) or butcher bird as it is also known, is back. It is a rare winter visitor to the UK, but can be spotted perched on the tops of small conifers in Clocaenog forest.
It resembles a small magpie and according to Wikipedia: “The scientific name of the Great Grey Shrike literally means "sentinel butcher": Lanius is the Latin term for a butcher, while excubitor is Latin for a watchman or sentinel. This refers to the birds' two most conspicuous behaviours – storing food animals by impaling them on thorns, and using exposed tree-tops or poles to watch the surrounding area for possible prey.” Its usual prey includes wrens, mice and other small mammals which stores as described above. It breeds in northern Europe and Russia, moving south to central and southern Europe and Britain to spend the winter.
Read more information at:


Picture from Wikipedia.

HAUNTED SKIES: Colonel Halt supports Haunted Skies!


OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 2009 Director Kim Manners died. His name should be familiar to anyone who has been interested in tv dramas based on the paranormal as he was one of the directors of “The X-Files” and “Supernatural”.

And now the news:

New West Sussex home for 'endangered' water voles
Birds of a Feather Don't Always Stick Together
Wild dogs didn't go extinct in east Africa after a...
Extremely Rare Turtle Is Released Into the Wild
African mystery surrounds Welsh-born osprey
Kakapo death ends disappointing year
Bowerbird Bachelor Pads With Best Illusion Snag Ma...

Manners talks X-Files:

FRONTIERS OF ANTHROPOLOGY: New evidence links Early Bronze Age Ireland to the Southeastern United States

New evidence links Early Bronze Age Ireland to the Southeastern United States


CFZ CANADA: 新年快乐 (Happy New Year)

January 23, 2012 begins theChinese `Year of the Dragon``. In the Chinese 12 year cycle of zodiac years, the dragon is the only animal that is legendary—allof the other icons are known, and rather benign, animals and birds. Additionally, this is the year of the WaterDragon.

Read on...

LIZ CLANCY: APOCALYPSE 1080p: Last Day of the World

It's been a long time since my last post for the CFZ bloggo but I have several incredibly good excuses. One is that I'm currently working on a film project and would like to invite CFZ bloggo readers to get involved. And CFZ TV.

In Montreal, back in January 1999, a couple of friends made a simple bet between themselves: produce an original short film every month until the New Millennium and the End of the World. Twelve months later these friends were disappointed to learn that the Apocalypse had been postponed, but they had kept their bet and 200 short films later, KINO was born!


Twelve years later, as the year 2012 looms and the 'Mayan Doomsday' silly season appears set to strike with full force, we thought we’d commemorate KINO’s apocalyptic origins by posing ONE simple question:

IF the world is ending on 21st December 2012 (as doomsday theorists claim) how would YOU spend the world’s very Last Day?

Fulfilling your wildest ‘bucket list’ desires? Saying your last goodbyes? Getting plastered? Cowering inside your bomb shelter? Making passionate love?

Partially inspired by the Ridley Scott documentary ‘Life in a Day’ and Michael Jackson’s ‘Behind the Mask’ music video, Manchester Making Films Inspirational [MMFI] and SirClancelot Films are inviting Kino filmmakers worldwide to star in the ‘Apocalypse 1080p’ cinema project by sending us your most creative films showing how YOU plan to spend the Last Day of the World. The best footage will be used to create an amazing world-sourced, feature-length science fiction movie to be released in December 2012.

From something as basic as a 30-second mobile phone video clip of your last will and testament before the '2012 apocalypse' to the most elaborate 'countdown to Armageddon' flash mob, feel free to have all the fun in the world in creating your masterpieces.

Imagine it. Film it. Send it in.

Pull out all creative stops. Think outside the box. Let your creativity (and cameras) run wild and send us your most amazing 21/12 'bucket list' films!

Submissions may be filmed with mobile phone, camcorder, DSLR or any other means. They may be of any length and should strive for a minimum resolution of 1080p HD (though films of lesser resolution will be accepted).

Open a Free account and upload your films to Vimeo at:


Then send us the web link to your film (along with your full name, phone number and email address) via Facebook Message.

Alternatively, you can post your entries on CD or DVD to:

SirClancelot Films
88 Abbey Crescent
OL10 4UG

(Remember to enclose your full name, phone number and email address. Submissions are non-returnable and may be re-edited as needed.)

Closing date for entries: 30 June 2012. Please disregard the 'Tuesday, March 20, 2012' closing date indicated at the top. (For some reason Facebook will not allow you to create an event that lasts for more than 4 months.)

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Could all participants refrain from adding any names, titles, dates or any other visual information to the films they submit. These will be added in post-production. Furthermore, in submitting material for this project you are doing so under the terms of the Creative Commons Public License.

Imagine it. Film it. Send it in.