isolation trivia

To: Terry Bell <>, chatline canberrabirds <>
Subject: isolation trivia
From: John Harris <>
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 2020 04:07:29 +0000
I have been corrected by someone with a better memory than mine for dates. 
Aristotle receded Pliny the elder by many years so I should have phrased my 
sentence that Pliny still accepted that cuckoos turned into hawks despite the 
fact that Aristotle had questioned it some time earlier.
Otherwise, the point remains.

On 1/4/20, 2:51 pm, "John Harris" <> wrote:

    Well you do happen upon an interest of mine in all things classical Greek!
    Cuckoos were a sacred bird, sacred to the goddess Hera - strange in itself 
that the bird who lays her eggs in another's nest should be sacred to the 
Goddess of family and marriage. Certainly in English mediaeval times, 
cuckolding was the opposite of faithful family life! But when the cuckoo became 
sacred the Greek's did not understand its habits. Before the life of cuckoos 
was well understood, they were thought to turn into  hawks to account for their 
absence in winter. Pliny in his Natural History accepted that notion. Aristotle 
later rejected the idea on the basis of the cuckoo's bills and talons not being 
carnivorous. So perhaps Aristotle is the answer, or at least as possible 
answer, to your question!
    On 1/4/20, 1:24 pm, "Terry Bell" <> wrote:
        In antiquity who was the eminent person that first documented the key 
aspects of common cuckoo behaviour ( Mark Cocker )
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