The cuckoo was also sacred to Hera, who, according to the Argive legend, was wooed by Zeus in the form of the bird.
The fact that both sexes of the cuckoo resemble the hawk does not necessarily prove this suggested explanation to be false; but if it be true that the smaller passerine birds are duped by the similarity to the bird of prey, it may be that the cuckoos themselves escape molestation from larger hawks on account of their resemblance to the sparrowhawk.
ACORUS CALAMUS, sweet-sedge or sweet-flag, a plant of the natural order Araceae, which shares with the Cuckoo Pint (Arum) the representation in Britain of that order of Monocotyledons.
The common cuckoo and some other species inhabiting Africa and Asia closely resemble sparrow-hawks.
In this case also both sexes of the cuckoo mimic the drongo, whereas according to the theory it would be necessary for the hen bird alone to do so.
A variety of the cuckoo called hototogisu (Cuculus poliocephalus) in imitation of the sound of its voice, is heard as an accompaniment of the uguisu, and there are also three other species, the kakkodori (Cuculus canorus), the Isutsu-dori (C. himalayanus), and the masuhakari, orju-ichi (C. hyperythrus).
The drongo is a fierce and powerful bird which will not tolerate a strange bird of the size of a cuckoo near its nest, yet on account of its resemblance to the drongo, the hen cuckoo is enabled, it has been claimed, to lay her egg in the nest of the drongo, which mistakes the cuckoo for one of its own kind.
Some cuckoos are singular for their habit of using the nests of smaller birds to lay their eggs in, so that the young may be reared by foster-parents; and it has been suggested that the object of the likeness exhibited to the hawk is to enable the cock cuckoo either to frighten the small birds away from their nests or to lure them in pursuit of him, while the hen bird quietly and without molestation disposes of her egg.
Noteworthy in the animal life of the lower Sonoran and tropic region are a variety of snakes and lizards, desert rats and mice; and, among birds, the cactus wren, desert thrasher, desert sparrow, Texas night-hawk, mocking-bird and ground cuckoo or road runner (Geococcyx Californianus).
That the humming-bird (Nuitziton), which was the god's old shape, should become merely his attendant (like the owl of Pallas, the mouse of Apollo, the goose of Priapus, the cuckoo of Hera), when the god received anthropomorphic form, is an example of a process common in'all mythologies.