At the beginning of the 21st Century monsters still roam the remote, and sometimes not so remote, corners of our planet. It is our job to search for them. The Centre for Fortean Zoology [CFZ] is - we believe - the largest professional, scientific and full-time organisation in the world dedicated to cryptozoology - the study of unknown animals. Since 1992 the CFZ has carried out an unparalleled programme of research and investigation all over the world. Since 2009 we have been running the increasingly popular CFZ Blog Network, and although there has been an American branch of the CFZ for over ten years now, it is only now that it has a dedicated blog.

Tuesday 23 December 2014


A couple of birds mentioned in Christmas carols are fairly obscure.  They question of what they are shall now be addressed.  Sit up and pay attention.

In The Twelve Days of Christmas obscure avians called "colley birds" are mentioned.  This name is so obscure that it has been sometimes changed into "calling birds".  In fact, the colley bird, which is first mentioned in a version of the carol written down in 1780, is the European blackbird, also known as the merle or ouzel.  It is an English dialect name.

Less easy to explain is the carnal in the carol The Carnal and the Crane.  None can say with certainty what this is, although according to guesswork it is a crow.  Is it even a bird, though?

At least we all know what a crane is.


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