List of collective nouns for birds

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The standard collective noun for a group of birds of any type is a flock.[1]

For a number of individual birds, there exist collective nouns particular to the type of bird. Many of these collective nouns are fanciful and not in common use in English.

Contents

List

BirdCollective nounSource/origin
BirdsFlockStandard term
Birds (small)Dissimulation[2]
BitternsSiege/sedge[2][3]
ChickensPeep/brood[1][2][4]
ChoughsClattering[1][2]
CootsCovert[1][2]
CranesHerd[1][2]
CranesSedge[3]
CrowsMurder[1]
CurlewHerd[1][2]
DotterelTrip[1][3]
DovesDole/dule[2][3]
DovesFlight[1]
DucksBadling, or raft[2]
GoldfinchesCharm[5]
Geese
(on the ground)
Gaggle[3][5]
Geese
(in flight)
Skein[1][5]
GoshawksFlight[2]
GuineafowlRasp[6]
Hawks (tame)Cast[2]
Hawks (tame)Lease[2]
HeronsSiege/sedge[2][3]
JackdawsTrain[7]
LapwingsDeceit[3]
LapwingsDesert[1][2]
LarksExaltation[2]
MagpiesTiding[2][3]
MallardsSuit/sute[1][2]
MallardsSord[1][2]
NightingalesWatch[1][2]
OwlsParliament[3]
PartridgesCovey[1][2]
PeacocksMuster/Ostentation[1][3]
PheasantsNide[3]
PheasantsNye[1][2]
Pigeons
(flying together)
Kit[1]
PloversCongregation[1][2]
QuailBevy[1][2]
QuailDrift[1]
RavensUnkindness[1][2]
RooksBuilding[1][2]
RooksParliament[1]
SnipeWalk, or wisp[1]
SparrowsHost[1][2]
StarlingsMurmuration[1][2]
SwallowsFlight[1]
SwansGame[1]
Swans (in flight)Wedge[1]
TealSpring[1][2]
Turtle dovesDole/dule[2]
WoodcocksFall[1][2]
WrensHerd[1][2]

Spurious, unverified and misapprehended terms

BirdCollective nounSource/origin
PoultryRunNot a collective noun
CurlewsHeadMistaken for herd
DovesPrettyingMistaken for pitying
PartridgesBewPossibly a mistake for bevy
PenguinsRookery, or raftNot a collective term, depends on location (land/sea)

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag "What do you call a group of ...?". Oxford Dictionaries. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/page/collectivenouns_us. Retrieved 2011-05-27. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae Berners, Dame Juliana (1881 reproduction) [First published 1486]. The Boke of Saint Albans. Introduction by William Blades. London: Elliot Stock. http://www.archive.org/details/bokeofsaintalban00bernuoft. Retrieved 2011-05-27. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Animal Congregations, or What Do You Call a Group of.....?". U.S. Geological Survey Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center. http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/about/faqs/animals/names.htm. Retrieved 2011-05-27. 
  4. ^ Bergford, Paul. "Collective Nouns for Birds". Palomar Audubon Society. http://palomaraudubon.org/collective.html. Retrieved 9 November 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c "AskOxford: G". archived copy of Collective Terms for Groups of Animals. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. http://replay.web.archive.org/20081020120740/http://www.askoxford.com/asktheexperts/collective/g/. Retrieved 2011-05-27. 
  6. ^ Lieut.-Colonel B. G. Lynn-Allen (1951). Shot-gun and Sunlight - The Game Birds of East Africa. London: Batchworth Press. http://books.google.com.au/books?id=KOM1AAAAMAAJ&q=Shot-gun+and+sunlight&dq=Shot-gun+and+sunlight&hl=en&sa=X&ei=3k82T4DpDsXGmQXmqLCZAg&ved=0CDwQ6AEwAA. 
  7. ^ Gilbert White - The Natural History of Selborne London: N. Hailes, 1833. p. 163.

External links