The New Bird Collective

This is the officially unofficial naming convention for bird collectives, hereby and forthwith known as “The New Bird Collective” and is wholly different and intended as a replacement for the old, archaic, “Old Bird Collective” which is as seeped in mystery as it is of shrouded (possibly questionable) origin. Some old bird collective nouns will occasionally appear here because, let’s face it, some of them aren’t so bad.

We (this is the royal “we,” as we are related to the Royal House of Orange and are therefor so entitled) do hereby declare that the unofficial designations of collective names be wholly owned by members of the Facebook Bird Misidentification Page 

The first term listed is the generic term that can be used for any collective in any state: perched, flying, floating, sinking, served as a dish, floating, diving, swimming, etc.  You can, however, truly show off your mastery of this list by knowing the list more thoroughly and knowing the most applicable term for any situation.

The New Bird Collective:

Boogey of birds

swarm, reaction of bee-eaters

taste of bitterns

  • truth of bitterns

bakery of blackbirds

  • pie of blackbirds (exactly four and twenty)
  • pies of blackbirds (some exact multiple of four and twenty blackbirds)
  • piefull of blackbirds (far too many blackbirds to count, like during full migration)
  • montrose attack of red-winged blackbirds
  • r2d2 of bobolinks

happiness, mountain of bluebirds

A golf course of bobolinks

bouquet of bulbuls

bazaar of buzzards

  • buffet of buzzards
  • waiting of buzzards (because wait! a buzzard is not really a species…)

barrel of bobolinks

A frederick’s of boobies

  • pageant of boobies
  • Cleavage of boobies (in flight)
  • bra, brassiere of boobies (nesting boobies)
  • nice rack of boobies (perched on mile marker buoy outside of The Dry Tortugas)
  • nice setof boobies (a nice set of boobies)

presentation of bowerbirds

renegade of rule breakers

  • page of birb misidentifiers

mound, infield, sacrifice of Buntings

  • Rib of buntings (perched on a branch)
  • flake of snow buntings (in flight)

Blizzard of buzzards

Deck, conclave, college of cardinals

  • pope of cardinals (a single cardinal, by itself, clearly pontificating to the other cardinals, clearly the leader of the conclave
  • church of cardinals (a group of cardinals, gathered around anther cardinal who is the pope
  • communion of cardinals (more than one cardinal, on a feeder
  • atheism ofcardinals (a group of cardinals at a feeder, with pyrrhuloxia mixed in)
  • pedal of cardinals

clouder, caboodle of catbirds

  • cacaphony of catbirds (perched)
  • catastrophe of catbirds (in flight)

Plateful, winner winner of chickens

  • KFC ofchickens
  • a bucket of chickens
  • throw of chickens (in flight)
  • barbeque of chickens (a cookout in your backyard, where chicken is served)

Syrup of choughs

  • drop of choughs

Bar full of chicks

island of conies

Nursing home of coots

  • convalescence of coots
  • Cuteness of coots ( swimming, diving, sharing a meal together)

glut of cormorants

  • thread of cormorants (in flight, all in a row)

corral, stampede,herd of cowbirds

Bogey, Kellog, truck, case of Crakes

of cranes

  • wrecking of cranes (in flight)
  • ball of cranes (nesting)
  • hoisting of cranes

Clever of crows

ratchet of cuckoos

  • apocalypse of [channel-billed] cuckoos (perched, and presumably keeping David Kirshner awake)
  • delirium of cuckoos (perched)
  • asylum of cuckoos (a wall of clocks)

Salon, iron, perm of curlews

dickhead of dickcissels

dollop, buffet of dove

  • Sound of doves ( when the doves fly )
  • dundering of doves
  • procession of mourning doves
  • funeralof mourning doves
  • dirge of mourning doves

coven of dowitchers

Dazzling, or Parade of ducks

Henley of eagles

Lifetime of egrets

  • egress of egrets (in flight)

emulsion of emus

  • embarrassment of emus

enigma of empids

sallyrand of fantails

Abercrombie of finches

  • frown of finches (hanging upside down
  • smile of finches (perched right side up)
  • pinch of finches (in flight)

flamboyance of flamingos

guillotine of flycatchers (AKA kingbirds)

  • infield of flycatchers (perched)
  • hawking of flycatchers ( in flight, catching insects )
  • fiskar of scissor-tailed flycatchers

wetting of gannets

gorge of geese

  • graffiti of geese (flying)
  • prosper of geese (flying in a ‘V’)
  • ryan of goslings
  • gluttony of greater white-fronted geese ( e.g. “after years of near-misses and as a nemesis bird, we had a gluttony of GWFs” )

comedy of godwits

glimmering of goldfinches

  • gossamer of goldfinches (in flight)
  • midas of goldfinches (perched)

of goslings

Annoyance, snap and pop of grackles

  • cackle of grackles (in flight)
  • armada of boat-tailed grackles

grumble of grouse

Amar Ayyash of gulls

  • frolic of gulls (more than 1000 gulls, in flight)
  • gallows of gulls (floating or sitting on ice)
  • flock of sea gulls

romance of harlequin ducks

Coming, watch, spuh of hawks

  • Smithy of coopers
  • Readiness of Red-tailed
  • Circus of harriers

house, bordello of hens

junky, hunk of herons

brothel of hoary redpolls

hula of hoopoes

Chorus of hummingbirds

  • hymnal of hummingbirds
  • forgot-the-danged-lyrics of hummingbirds (in flight)

Mob of jays

  • blunt of jays (heckling something, harassing another bird or animal or just saying rude things to you)
  • bunt of jays (in flight)
  • sky of blue jays
  • constellation of stellar jays

yard of Juncos

Crown, kingdom of kinglets

castle of kingbirds

Locker of killdeeers

lovefest, embrace of kiskadees

tangle of knots

cackle of kooka

waterbowl of lapwings

lick, lark of larks

  • riddle of larks (on the ground)
  • rodeo of horned larks

bin of loons

bakery of magpies

  • muffin ofmagpies (feasting on a carcass)

malarkey of mallards

submersion of mergansers

shaft of mynas

florence of nightingales

mighty, nutcase of nuthatches

  • crack of nuthatches (in flight)

lasting of orioles

  • nabisco of orioles

government, whom, holler of owls

  • Flurry of snowy owls (less than ten flying)
  • blizzard of snowy owls (more than ten flying
  • snowball of snowy owls (two or more, sleeping)
  • Hootenanny of owls (mixed species)
  • Flurry, blizzard of Snowy owls
  • Conspiracy of burrowing owls
  • keebler of elf owls

parrot of parrots

  • polygamy of parrots (hundreds, feeding in a tree)
  • scoundrel of parakeets

family of partridges

  • pear treeof partridges (perched)

appeasing of peacocks

  • argus of peacocks (waddling around)

platoon of pelicans

  • Formation of pelicans (flying a tight V)
  • squad, attack of pelicans ( large mass of 30 +, coming right at you )
  • mess of pelicans ( eating and dabbling )

tuxedo of penguins

  • slip of penguins (swimming and diving and being penguins)
  • tailor shop of penguins (in a zoo))
  • march of penguins (marching)
  • priesthood of penguins (a large huddle of males, sitting on eggs)
  • pod of penguins (a collection of penguins on an ice float.  AKA an Orca snack)

thundercloud of petrels

  • litre of petrels (swimming)

Fiefdom of pheasants

  • Nook ofpheasants (on the ground)
  • banquet ofpheasants (when flushed)
  • phantasm of pheasants (in flight)

poopage of pigeons

pleading of plovers

  • dojo of mountain plovers

ptooey of ptarmigans

  • silence of ptarmigens (because the p is silent)
  • correlation of ptarmigans (in flight)

cushion of puffins

Stairing, case, bogie, truck of rails

  • flight of rails (in flight)

Nevermore of ravens

  • quoth of ravens

Twist of Red Knots

  • in-flight a darning of Knots
  • on a mudflat: tangle of knots

dire of rheas

wiley of roadrunners

  • cartoon of roadrunners
  • marathon of roadrunners

bat cave of robins

  • nightwing of robins

rockslide of rockhoppers

king of rooks

  • checkmate of rooks

rabble of roosters

pool of secretary birbs

pitcher of shearwaters

snip of snipes

  • sniffle of snipes (in flight)

jack, spartan, chaos of sparrows

  • chaos of sparrows (in flight)
  • muddle of sparrows (muddling about on the ground)
  • plague of grasshopper sparrows

constellation, galaxy of starlings

  • clarice of starlings ( i admit, i don’t understand this one )
  • spittle starlings ( on the ground, puttering around )
  • standing of starlings ( when they are all just standing there, looking at you, terrifying you )

nursery of storks

swig, mouthful of swallows

  • throat-full of swallows

Swindling of swans

  • Fool of Trumpeter Swans
  • casino of Trumpeter swans (swimming)
  • swath of swans (flying)

of swans (flying in a ‘V’)

fleet of swifts

  • laden of swifts (in flight)
  • unladen of swifts (perched)
  • meeting of swifts
  • lost viginity of swifts
  • taylor of swifts

brace of tits

  • brook of wrentits
  • bra-full of titmice
  • handful of tits

squeal of teals

  • sprinkling of cinnamon teal

tuple of terns

  • nacht of black terns
  • tomtom of terns
  • intersection of terns

combine of thrashers

pardon of turkeys

  • Tug of turkeys (immature)
  • Tumbler of (wild) Turkeys
  • Tuttle of turkeys (crossing a road)
  • Cincinnati, splatter, falling, of turkeys (in flight)
  • feast of turkeys (thanksgiving day dinner)

tastiness of turtledoves

a tangle of turkey vultures

a virtue of vireos

  • carillion of Bell’s Vireoe

velocity of vultures

  • mortuary of vultures (on the ground, feeding
  • crematory of vultures (in flight)
  • kettle of vultures (mixed species, in flight, wheeling about)
  • whistling-teapot of vultures (projectile vomiting, in flight, directly overhead.

kennel of wagtails

whinney of Warblers

  • wobbling of warblers (in flight)
  • dècor of Kirtland’s warblers
  • apology of canada warblers
  • thicket of common yellowthroats
  • ikea, roasting of ovenbirds

shedding of waterfowl (on the water, mixed species)

  • pooping of waterfowl (on land)
  • wind of watererfowl (in air)

pigeon of wigeon

happenstance of wildfowl

Weinstein of woodcocks

  • hard-on of woodcocks
  • erection of woodcocks
  • condom  woodcocks

percussion, orgy, of woodpeckers

  • drumming of woodpeckers
  • awkward splinter ofwoodpeckers (nesting)
  • drawing of sapsuckers
  • booger of flickers

Dribble of wood peewees

houseful of wrens

  • papyrus of sedge wrens