isolation trivia

To: John Harris <>, Terry Bell <>, chatline canberrabirds <>
Subject: isolation trivia
From: Kevin Windle <>
Date: Thu, 2 Apr 2020 00:20:43 +0000
Of possible interest to readers of this thread:

Jeremy Mynott, Birds in the Ancient World, OUP 2018.

I was given a copy recently


From: John Harris <>
Sent: 01 April 2020 15:07
To: Terry Bell <>; chatline canberrabirds <>
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] isolation trivia
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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