#2 What do you call a group of Birds . . .

bluebirdWhile researching for terms (groups of various animals, etc I found lists here: http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/about/faqs/animals/names.htm) – so I thought I’d share:


  • Birds in general:  A flight (in the air), flock (on the ground), volary, brace (generally for gamebirds or waterfowl, referring to a pair or couple killed by a hunter)
  • Bitterns:  A sedge
  • Buzzards:  A wake
  • Bobolinks:  A chain
  • Chicks (of many species):  A brood; clutch
  • Coots:  A cover
  • Cormorants:  A gulp
  • Cranes:  A sedge
  • Crows:  A murder, horde
  • Dotterel:  A trip
  • Doves:  A dule, pitying (specific to turtle doves)
  • Ducks:  A brace, flock (in flight), raft (on water) team, paddling (on water), badling
  • Eagles:  A convocation
  • Finches:  A charm
  • Flamingos:  A stand
  • Geese:  A flock, gaggle (on the ground), skein (in flight)
  • Grouse:  A pack (in late season)
  • Gulls:  A colony
  • Hawks:  A cast, kettle (flying in large numbers), boil (two or more spiraling in flight)
  • Herons:  A sedge, a siege
  • Jays:  A party, scold
  • Lapwings:  A deceit
  • Larks:  An exaltation
  • Mallards:  A sord (in flight), brace
  • Magpies:  A tiding, gulp, murder, charm
  • Nightingales:  A watch
  • Owls:  A parliament
  • Parrots:  A company
  • Partridge:  A covey
  • Peacocks:  A muster, an ostentation
  • Pelicans:  A squadron [from James E. Lewis]
  • Penguins:  A colony
  • Pheasant:  A nest, nide (a brood), nye, bouquet
  • Plovers:  A congregation, wing (in flight)
  • Ptarmigans:  A covey
  • Rooks:  A building
  • Quail:  A bevy, covey
  • Ravens:  An unkindness
  • Snipe:  A walk, a wisp
  • Sparrows:  A host
  • Starlings:  A murmuration
  • Storks:  A mustering
  • Swallows:  A flight
  • Swans:  A bevy, wedge (in flight)
  • Teal:  A spring
  • Turkeys:  A rafter, gang
  • Widgeons:  A company
  • Woodcocks:  A fall
  • Woodpeckers:  A descent



2 thoughts on “#2 What do you call a group of Birds . . .

  1. I love trivia like this. You can just throw it into a conversation and watch the look on your husband’s face. “Oh honey, just listen to that murmuration of starlings.” I think my favorite is skein of geese and parliament of owls. How appropriate for the wise bird. Thanks, Susan.

    • Hi, Aubrey
      My personal favorites are a charm of Finches (since we used to have some tame ones and the name fits them) – or a wake of buzzards (appropriate) – and an “unkindness” of Ravens (reminds me of Poe’s poem).


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