Terms For Animal Collectives, Groups Of Animals, Birds And Insects

As I mentioned earlier today in an aside, I’ve been looking for a page like this for a while. It hasn’t really come up before, but recently I have been writing more of my children’s novel Symria which involves a few different magical animals, derived from existing animals. I’ve decided to include the full information here, in case the site goes down for some reason.

TERMS FOR GROUPS OF ANIMALS, BIRDS AND INSECTS

Ever wondered what the collective noun is for various groups of animals, birds or insects? Here are some of the obvious and not so obvious.

I would, however, like to point out that these terms have not been officially “authenticated”.

Some more terms for other species and the more “unusual” suggestions can be found here.

ANIMAL

TERM

ANTELOPES A HERD of antelopes.
ANTS

A COLONY of ants. Courtesy of Melissa Bee – thanks.

An ARMY of ants.

A STATE or SWARM of ants.

APES

A SHREWDNESS of apes

ASSES

A HERD or PACE of asses

A DROVE of asses.

BABOONS A TROOP of baboons

Courtesy of Michael Haberl

BACTERIA A CULTURE of bacteria. Chris Moffatt

BADGERS

A CETE of badgers

BARRACUDAS A BATTERY of barracudas.
BASS A SHOAL of bass. Courtesy of Melissa Bee.
BATS A COLONY of bats. Courtesy of Melissa Bee.A CLOUD of bats.

Keith Harris

BEARS

A SLOTH or SLEUTH of bears

BEAVERS A COLONY of beavers.A FAMILY of beavers.

BEES

A GRIST, HIVE, SWARM, DRIFT or BIKE of bees

A CLUSTER, ERST or NEST of bees.

BIRDS

A FLOCK, FLIGHT, or PARCEL of birds.
A POD of birds (small flock)
A VOLARY of birds (in an aviary)
A BRACE = a pair of gamebirds or waterfowl *
* Courtesy of Melissa Bee.

A DISSIMULATION of birds. Phillip Joss

BISON A HERD of bison.
BITTERNS A SEDGE of bitterns. Courtesy of Melissa Bee.

BOAR (WILD)

A SOUNDER or SINGULAR of wild boar

BOBOLINKS A CHAIN of bobolinks (whatever they might be!!)
Courtesy of Melissa Bee.
Just in case there is anyone else out there who, like me, doesn’t know what a Bobolink is I have been reliably informed by Amelia B., that it is a small bird. The male is black and white with a yellow cap on his head and the female is golden brown with brown markings.Another name for a bobolink is a whippoorwill (their call sounds a little like someone saying the word whippoorwill).

Thanks to Eric Pittenger for this additional information.

Clarice Olle has been kind enough to point out that the above is in fact incorrect.

A bob-o-link (short for Robert of Lincoln) is NOT the same bird as a whippoorwill.

This is confirmed on the site at http://nationalzoo.si.edu/default.cfm

BUCK

A BRACE OR CLASH of bucks. Michael Haberl

BUDGERIGARS A CHATTER of budgerigars.

BUFFALO

A HERD, TROUP, GANG or OBSTINACY of buffalo

BULLOCKS A DROVE of bullocks.
BUTTERFLIES A SWARM or RABBLE of butterflies.A KALEIDOSCOPE of butterflies. Christina GonzalesA FLUTTER of butterflies. (Priscilla Weikert sent in this one)
BUZZARDS A WAKE of buzzards. Courtesy of Melissa Bee
CAMELS A CARAVAN, FLOCK or TRAIN of camels.
CARIBOU A HERD of caribou.
CATERPILLARS An ARMY of caterpillars. Courtesy of Melissa Bee

CATTLE

A HERD, DROVE or DRIFT of cattle.
A MOB of cattle (US)

CATS

A CLOWDER of cats. (sent in by Paul Chapin)
A POUNCE of cats.
A KINDLE, LITTER OR INTRIGUE (for kittens)

Courtesy of Melissa Bee

A CLUTTER of cats.

A COMFORT of cats. Contributed by Gary Goldring

CHEETAHS A COALITION of cheetahs Submitted by Lisa Ashley Mayock

CHICKEN

A BROOD, CLUTCH, flock, run or PEEP of chicken

CHICKS A CLUTCH OR CHATTERING of chicks.

Thanks to Michael Haberl

CHOUGHS A CHATTERING of choughs.
CLAMS A BED of clams (contributed by Clyde Hogendobler)
COBRAS A QUIVER of cobras Michael Haberl
COCKROACHES An INTRUSION of cockroaches. Courtesy of Melissa Bee
COLTS A RAG of colts.
COOTS A COVERT or COVER* of coots. * Courtesy of Melissa Bee
CORMORANTS A GULP (SOLITUDE)* OR FLIGHT of cormorants. *Courtesy of Melissa Bee
COWS A KINE of cows (12 cows are a FLINK) Michael Haberl
COYOTE A PACK of coyotesA TRAIN of coyotes Donald KrossA BAND of coyotes Michael Haberl
CRABS A BUSHEL of crabs Submitted by Kristen Reece

CRANES

A HERD, SEIGE or SEDGE* of cranes * Courtesy of Melissa Bee

CROCODILES A CONGREGATION or NESTA BASK or FLOAT of crocodiles. Michael HaberlA STRIKER (unconfirmed) Mike Paget
CROWS

A MURDER of crows Jill Dobbs, Rachael Blomeley and anon.)
A HORDE of crows. Courtesy of Melissa Bee

CUBS

A LITTER of cubs

CURLEW

A HERD of curlew

CURS A COWARDICE of curs. Michael Haberl

DEER

ROE DEER

A HERD, LEASH or MOB of deer

A BEVY of roe deer. Courtesy of Melissa Bee

DOGFISH A TROOP of dogfish

DOGS

A PACK (wild dogs) or KENNEL of dogs
A COWARDICE of curs. )
A LITTER of puppies. Courtesy of Melissa Bee

DOLPHINS A SCHOOL of dolphins.A POD of dolphins. Thanks to Audrie Dugger
DONKEYS A HERD or PACE of donkeys/asses Courtesy of Melissa Bee

Michael Haberl

DOTTEREL A TRIP of dotterel. Courtesy of Melissa BeeApparently a Dotterel is a rare plover of upland areas of Eurasia.

Thanks to Linwood Lyons for supplying this useful information.

DOVES

A FLIGHT, DULE or DOLE of doves.
A PITYING of turtle doves. Courtesy of Melissa Bee

DUCKS

A RAFT, PADDLING or BUNCH of ducks on water.
A TEAM, BRACE, BED, FLIGHT OR FLOCK* of wild ducks in flight.
Courtesy of Melissa Bee

DUNLINS

A FLING of dunlins

EAGLES A CONVOCATION of eagles.A CONGREGATION of eagles.

Sent in by Mike Field

EELS An ARRAY of eels.

John Beumer

ELEPHANTS

A HERD or PARADE* of elephants *also Raila and Jon Foley

A CRASH of elephants. Submitted by Susan Walsh

ELK

A HERD of elk.
A GANG of elk (US)

EMUS A MOB of emus. Michael Haberl
FERRETS A BUSINESS of ferrets (contribtued by Clyde Hogendobler, Phillip Joss & Brian Schott)

FINCHES

A CHARM of finches

FISH

A SHOAL, DRAFT, NEST, SCHOOL* of fish.
A RUN of fish in motion. *Courtesy of Melissa Bee

FLAMINGOES A STAND of flamingoes. Courtesy of Melissa BeeA FLAMBOYANCE of flamingoes. Sent in by Kevin Yocum

FLIES

A CLOUD, HATCH, BUSINESS* or SWARM of flies.

*Courtesy of Melissa Bee

FOXES A SKULK of foxes (contributed by Clyde Hogendobler)
A CLOUD, TROOP, or COMPANY of foxes.
A LEASH OR EARTH of foxes.* *Courtesy of Melissa Bee
FROGS An ARMY or COLONY of frogs. Michael Haberl

GEESE

A GAGGLE or FLOCK of geese.
A SKEIN, TEAM or WEDGE of geese (in the air)
A PLUMP of geese (on water)

GERBILS A HORDE of gerbils.

GIRAFFES

A CORPS, TROOP, HERD , TOWER*, KINDERGARTEN** or JOURNEY*** of giraffes

* Courtesy of Melissa Bee ** Courtesy of James Marohn ***Raila and Jon Foley

GNATS A CLOUD OR HORDE of gnats. Courtesy of Melissa Bee
GNUS An IMPLAUSIBILITY of gnus. Andrew Davidson

GOATS

A FLOCK, HERD or TRIBE of goats

A TRIP of goats (This is not one I have heard of before – thank you Lee Lundberg)

GOLDFINCHES A CHARM of goldfinches.
GOLDFISH A TROUBLING of goldfish.
GORILLAS A BAND of gorillas (contributed by Clyde Hogendobler)
GRASSHOPPERS A CLOUD of grasshoppers.
GREYHOUNDS A LEASH of greyhounds.

GROUSE

A PACK or COVEY of grouse

GUILLEMOTS A BAZAAR of guillemots.
GUINEA PIGS A GROUP of guinea pigs

Mike Holden

GULLS A COLONY of gulls. Courtesy of Melissa Bee
HAMSTERS A HORDE of hamsters. Thanks to Margie and John for this.
HARES A HUSK, DOWN or MUTE of hares.
HAWKS A CAST, KETTLE (flying in large numbers) or BOIL (two or more) of hawks.
Courtesy of Melissa Bee
HEDGEHOGS An ARRAY of hedgehogs.
HENS A BROOD of hens.
HERONS A SCATTERING, SEIGE or SEDGE* of herons. * Courtesy of Melissa Bee
HERRING An ARMY of herring. Courtesy of Melissa Bee
HIPPOPOTAMI A BLOAT of hippopotami (or hippopotamuses)
HOGS A DRIFT or PARCEL of hogs. Michael Haberl
HORNETS A NEST of hornets. Courtesy of Melissa Bee

HORSES

A STUD or STRING of horses (Breeding)
A TEAM, HARRAS, PAIR or RAG of horses (i.e. colts.)*
A FIELD, HERD, REMUDA, SET or STABLE of horses.

*Courtesy of Melissa Bee

HOUNDS

A PACK, KENNEL, MUTE or CRY of hounds

Possibly LEASH of hounds (but cannot confirm this fact)

Thanks to John Branda for this suggestion.

HYENAS A CACKLE of hyenas. Courtesy of Melissa Bee

INSECTS

A SWARM of insects

JACKRABBITS A HUSK of jackrabbits.
JAYS A PARTY or SCOLD of jays. Courtesy of Melissa Bee
JELLYFISH A BROOD, SMUCK or SMACK of jellyfish.

KANGAROOS

A MOB or TROOP of kangaroos

KITTENS

A KENDLE, KINDLE or LITTER of kittens.

LADYBIRDS (LADYBUGS/LADYBEETLES) A LOVELINESS of ladybirds. Sent in by Simon Odell – not authenticated but too nice to omit.
LAPWINGS A DESERT or DECEIT* of lapwings. *Courtesy of Melissa Bee

LARKS

A BEVY of larks.
An EXALTATION of larks. (contributed by Elazar Friedman)
An ASCENSION of larks. Michael Haberl

LEMURS A GROUP of lemurs
LEOPARDS A LEAP of leopards (contributed by Clyde Hogendobler)
LICE A FLOCK of lice.

LIONS

A PRIDE, FLOCK, SAWT, SOUSE, or TROOP of lions.

LOCUSTS A CLOUD, PLAGUE or SWARM of locusts.
MAGPIES A TITTERING, TIDING, GULP, MURDER or CHARM* of magpies.
* Courtesy of Melissa Bee
MALLARDS A SORD or BRACE* of mallards. (sent in by Elazar Friedman)
* Courtesy of Melissa Bee
MARES A STUD of mares. Michael Haberl
MARTENS A RICHNESS of martens. Courtesy of Melissa Bee A RICHESSE of martens. Submitted by Jayne Collins
MEERKATS A MOB of meerkats. Sent in by Kristin Howard
MINNOWS A STEAM of minnows.
MOLES A LABOUR of moles. Phillip Joss

MONKEYS

A TROOP, CARTLOAD or BARREL* of monkeys

* Courtesy of Melissa Bee

MOOSE A HERD of moose.
MULES A BARREN, PACK* or SPAN of mules. * Courtesy of Melissa Bee
NIGHTINGALES A WATCH of nightingales.
OTTERS A FAMILY, BEVY or ROMP* of otters. * Courtesy of Melissa BeeA RAFT of otters Submitted by Donald Cheek.
OWLS A PARLIAMENT of owls. (thanks to anonymous contributor & Raila and Jon Foley)A STARE or WISDOM of owls. Grant SchneiderA STUDY of owls. Submitted by Amelia B.
OXEN A TEAM or YOKE of oxen.. Courtesy of Melissa Bee
A DROVE or HERD of oxen Michael Haberl
A SPAN* of oxen Submitted by Richard Bowen*(I believe this may refer to a team of two or more)
OYSTERS A BED of oysters Contributed by Clyde Hogendobler and Kristen Reece
PARROTS A PANDEMONIUM or COMPANY* of parrots. * Courtesy of Melissa Bee

PARTRIDGES

A COVEY of partridges

PEACOCKS A MUSTER or OSTENTATION* of peacocks. * Courtesy of Melissa BeeA PULCHRITUDE of peacocks. *Suggested by S. M. Steven.
PEEPS A LITTER of peeps. Michael Haberl

PENGUINS

A ROOKERY or COLONY* of penguins

* Courtesy of Melissa Bee

PHEASANTS

A HEAD, NYE, NEST, BOUQUET, NIDE (BROOD)* or BEVY of pheasants
* Courtesy of Melissa Bee

PIGEONS

A KIT of pigeons (flying together)
A FLOCK or FLIGHT of pigeons. Michael Haberl

I have been advised by Terry West that this can also be a “LOFT” of pigeons. I am, however, a little nervous about this one as I know pigeons’ living quarters are called a Loft.

PIGS

A HERD, TRIP or LITTER of pigs
A DRIFT, DROVE, SOUNDER (swine), TEAM, PASSEL (hogs)*
* Courtesy of Melissa Bee

PLOVERS

A STAND, WING OR CONGREGATION of plovers

PONIES A DROVE OR STRING of ponies.
PORCUPINES A PRICKLE of porcupines. * Courtesy of Melissa Bee

PORPOISES

A HERD, SCHOOL or POD of porpoises.

PRAIRIE DOGS A COTERIE of prairie dogs. Ken

PTARMIGAN

A COVEY of Ptarmigan

PUPS

A LITTER of pups

A PUDDLE of puppies (thanks to Sarah Smith for this one)

QUAIL

A BEVY, DRIFT or COVEY* of quail

* Courtesy of Melissa Bee

RABBITS A BURY, COLONY, CIRCLE, NEST, HERD (domestic), LITTER (young) of rabbits. * Courtesy of Melissa Bee

RACEHORSES

A STRING of racehorses

RATS A COLONY of rats.
A PACK or SWARM of rats. Michael Haberl
RATTLESNAKES A RHUMBA of rattlesnakes. Michael Haberl.
RAVENS An UNKINDNESS of ravens.A MURDER of ravens. Michelle Hellstern
REINDEER A HERD of reindeer.
RHINOS A CRASH or HERD of rhinos (contributed by Clyde Hogendobler) Michael Haberl/ Raila and Jon Foley
ROEBUCKS A BEVY of roebucks.
ROOKS A BUILDING or ROOKERY of rooks.
A CLAMOUR of rooks. Michael Haberl
A PARLIAMENT of rooks. Clayton Deathe

RUFFS

A HILL of ruffs

SARDINES A FAMILY of sardines.
SCHNAUZERS A STENCH of SchnauzersNo complaints please, this was sent in by DD a Schnauzer owner who is a Veterinary Surgeon (identity protected by me, for obvious reasons!!!!)
SEA OTTERS A RAFT of sea otters Submitted by Donald Cheek.
SEAGULLS A FLOCK of seagulls.

Jason Murray

SEALS

A HERD, HAREM, TRIP or ROOKERY of seals
A POD of seals (a small herd)

SHARKS A SHIVER of sharks. Courtesy of Melissa Bee

SHEEP

A FLOCK, HERD, HIRSEL, PACK, DROVE* or TRIP of sheep *Courtesy of Melissa Bee

A MOB of sheep (Australian) Courtesy of Anthony Coates

SKYLARKS An ASCENSION of skylarks.

David Milne

SNAKES A DEN, BED, PIT or SLITHER of snakes.A NEST or KNOT of snakes. Courtesy of Melissa BeeA BROOD of snakes (a family group) Robert Richards

SNIPE

A WISP or WALK of snipe

SPARROWS A HOST of sparrows.
SQUIRRELS A DRAY or SCURRY* of squirrels. * Courtesy of Melissa Bee
STARLINGS A MURMATION of starlings. (courtesy of Elazar Friedman)A MURMURATION of starlings. Corrected by Andrew OkulitchA FILTH of starlings (courtesy of Wayne Bickley)
STORKS A MUSTERING of storks. Courtesy of Melissa Bee

SWALLOWS

A FLIGHT or GULP of swallows

SWANS

A GAME, BANK, TEAM, HERD or BEVY* of swans.
A WEDGE of swans in the air. Courtesy of Melissa Bee
A LAMENTATION of swans. Michael Haberl

SWIFTS A FLOCK of swifts Michael Haberl

SWINE

A HERD, DRIFT OR SOUNDER of swine

TEAL A SPRING of teal.
TERMITES A BROOD, COLONY, NEST OR SWARM of termites.
THRUSHES A MUTATION of thrushes.
TIGERS An AMBUSH or STREAK* of tigers. Courtesy of Melissa Bee
TOADS A KNOT or KNAB of toads (courtesy of Clyde Hogendobler)
TROUT A HOVER of trout.
TURKEYS A RAFTER or GANG* of turkeys. Courtesy of Melissa Bee
TURTLE DOVES A PITYING or DULE of turtle doves. Courtesy of Melissa Bee
TURTLES A BALE, DOLE or NEST* of turtles (contributed by Clyde Hogendobler)
A TURN of turtles. * Courtesy of Melissa Bee
UNICORNS A BLESSING of unicorns. Submitted by Jayne Collins.
VIPERS A NEST of vipers. Courtesy of Melissa Bee
VULTURES A COMMITTEE of vultures. Contributed by Kevin Yocum
WALRUSES A HERD or POD of walruses.
WASPS A PLADGE of wasps.A PAIL of wasps.

WATERFOWL

A BUNCH, KNOB, TRIP or PLUMP* of waterfowl

* Courtesy of Melissa Bee

WEASELS A **BOOGLE, GANG, *CONFUSION or PACK of weasels.

** Contributed by Dr Scott A McGinlay BVMS MRCVS DVM

*Submitted by Wayne Bickley

WHALES

A SCHOOL, HERD or GAM of whales
A POD of whales (small school)
A GRIND of bottle nose whales

WIDGEON

A COMPANY or TRIP of widgeon

WILDFOWL

A BUNCH, TRIP or PLUMP of wildfowl.
A KNOB of wildfowl (less than 30)

WOLVES

A PACK or ROUT of wolves

WOODCOCKS A FALL of woodcocks.
WOODPECKERS A DESCENT of woodpeckers.

WRENS

A HERD of wrens

A CHIME of wrens Phillip Joss

ZEBRAS A ZEAL, HERD or DAZZLE* of zebras * Sent in by Raila and Jon Foley

* * * * *

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1 Response to “Terms For Animal Collectives, Groups Of Animals, Birds And Insects”



  1. 1 Roc « memoirs on a rainy day Trackback on March 2, 2008 at 04:38
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