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Know your local wildlife: When a Flock is Not a Flock - Group Names for Birds

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Yes, all large groups of birds can be called a flock or, when in flight, a flight.

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How boring.

Why say flock, though, when there are much more interesting and accurate terms for different species of birds? In answer to an inquiry about a faction of feathered friends, wouldn't it be more fun to answer that it is, for instance:

  • a covert of coots,
  • a piteousness of doves,
  • a convocation of eagles,
  • a wedge of geese,
  • a sedge of herons, or
  • a parliament of owls?

Almost every species on the planet has its very own particular collective noun, though many share those group names (such as flock, gaggle, herd, drove).

Additionally, the more common the animal is worldwide, the more group names it's likely to have. To talk about a group of sheep, an English-speaker can refer to them as:

  • a flock,
  • a down
  • a drift
  • a drove
  • a herd
  • a hurtle
  • a meinie,
  • a mob,
  • a parcel, or
  • a trip.

In this article, however, the collective nouns for various species of birds is the topic. The following eight slides will introduce you a bunch of bird . . . um . . . bunches that you might likely see this winter season.

If you find this article interesting and would like to know more about nature and animals in southwest Virginia, please click on the subscribe link above to be notified by email whenever this Examiner posts a new article.



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