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Parliment Of Owls

We often see groups of birds and tend to call them flocks. But there are legitimate and authentic “collective” terms for many species that are available but seldom used. Many of these terms were coined in literature and although not widely used have survived through the years. Most of the terms are very descriptive and it is unfortunate that they have not prospered.

  • A murder of crows
  • A host of sparrows
  • A bouquet of pheasants
  • A scold of jays
  • A murmuration of starlings (a cloud is also available and sometimes more descriptive)
  • A flight of swallows
  • A gulp of cormorants
  • An exaltation of larks
  • A rafter of turkeys
  • A congregation of plovers
  • A cast of hawks
  • A siege of herons
  • A descent of woodpeckers
  • A tidings of magpies
  • A raft or bunch of ducks (on water)
  • A skein, team or string of ducks (in flight) A charm of goldfinches

Any suggestions for a group of birders? A nest? A flock? A sighting?

By Rick Jordahl

Summer 2006