isolation trivia

To: Terry Bell <>, Kevin Windle <>
Subject: isolation trivia
From: John Harris <>
Date: Thu, 2 Apr 2020 06:23:38 +0000

Hi Terry,

Not sure what (or whom) you are asking? I have seen these bird mosaics. What more do you need other than peacock, parrot, duck, egret etc? Cheers, John





From: Terry Bell <>
Date: Thursday, 2 April 2020 at 4:02 pm
To: Kevin Windle <>
Cc: John Harris <>, chatline <>
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] isolation trivia


Very interesting, and I wonder if you could assist with a long standing project involving a complete mosaic floor of about 20 birds situated at the ancient Roman town of Italica on the outskirts of Seville, Spain.


I visited the site several years ago, very impressed by the vivid colours , preservation and presentation which at the time caused me contemplate whether the actual birds could be identified and whether the various species could still survive.


Over the years I made several enquiries on the web through the library and university in Seville, even the Spanish Embassy in Canberra, without success.


Therefore, I am wondering whether someone with better IT skills, and sufficient interest could in some way advance this project for possible inclusion in Bird Notes.


I would suggest the first step would be to google the mosaic floors at Italica and then go from there.

Sent from my iPad

On 2 Apr 2020, at 11:20 am, Kevin Windle <> wrote:

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 )
        Sent from my iPad
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