Zoologist, media consultant, and science writer, Dr Karl Shuker is also one of the best known cryptozoologists in the world. Author of such seminal works as Mystery Cats of the World (1989), The Lost Ark: New and Rediscovered Animals of the 20th Century (1993; greatly expanded in 2012 as The Encyclopaedia of New and Rediscovered Animals), In Search of Prehistoric Survivors (1995), and more recently Extraordinary Animals Revisited (2007), Dr Shuker's Casebook (2008), Karl Shuker's Alien Zoo: From the Pages of Fortean Times (2010), Cats of Magic, Mythology, and Mystery (2012), and Mirabilis: A Carnival of Cryptozoology and Unnatural History (2013), his many fans have been badgering him to join the blogosphere for years. The CFZ Blog Network is proud to have finally persuaded him to do so.

ShukerNature - http://www.karlshuker.blogspot.com

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Friday, 28 September 2012


With my newly-acquired two-headed kestrel (© Dr Karl Shuker)

I may be a cryptozoologist and animal anomalist, but even I have to admit that it's not every day I go into town to buy some groceries and return home with a two-headed kestrel – but today was one such day!

Browsing in a local market that contains a number of antique/collectors' stalls, I came upon one stall that I hadn't seen before. And there, directly before me, was this truly extraordinary exhibit – a two-headed taxiderm specimen of the European kestrel Falco tinnunculus.

Two heads are certainly more eyecatching than one! (© Dr Karl Shuker)

To cut an extremely short story even shorter: reader, I purchased it! It is an adult female specimen (judging from its brown heads), is in excellent condition; and although I have seen various dicephalous chickens and ducks in the past, this is certainly the very first bicephalic bird of prey that I have ever encountered.

Did this bird get ahead by having two heads? (© Karl Shuker)

But is it genuine, a bona fide teratological raptor, or – to use a very apt falconry term - has it been created in order to hoodwink its observers? That is a very good question!

What do you think?

UPDATE: 30 September 2012

Okay - I've kept you all in suspense long enough! Click here for the answer to this double-headed riddle!

Not quite what I expected when shopping for my groceries! (© Dr Karl Shuker)


  1. My own guess, although I could well be wrong, is that it's a fake although a good one, possibly a pre-1914 attempt to create an Austrian or Russian double-headed eagle. Do you have any more information on how old this piece is or where it came from?

  2. More information to follow shortly... So stay tuned!