Animal Group Names & a Collection of Characters: Part I – Birds

birds

As authors, we make sure our characters are as individualistic and unique as possible. That having been said, all of us will at times use a group of characters to do something. This group could be big or small, a few people of an entire village. You can say something about the group my metaphorically comparing your group to a collection of animals and use the name of that animal group. We all know that comparing the group to the animals is easy enough, but the name of the group adds another level.

For example, we all know that a group of lions is called a pride. You can refer to a group of people as a pride of lions is they have the nature of a lion or if they exhibit pride. The sentence “The Professors milled about like a pride of lions,” is more colorful with the metaphor than without, and it tells us something about the Professors.

We refer to birds as a flock, but each kind of bird has its own group name. I’m sure we have all heard of a murder of crows. That is what I’m talking about, the group names for specific birds. We will consider other animals in the next few weeks.

  • A bellowing of bullfinches
  • A clutch of chickens
  • A gulp of cormorants
  • A flight of doves
  • A paddling of ducks
  • A convocation of eagles
  • A cast of falcons
  • A charm of finches
  • A flamboyance of flamingoes
  • A skein of geese (in flight)
  • A charm of goldfinches
  • A rasp of guineafowls
  • A kettle of hawks
  • A brood of hens
  • A siege of herons
  • A scold of jays
  • An exaltation of larks
  • A congregation of magpies
  • A richness of martens
  • A watch of nightingales
  • A parliament of owls
  • A pandemonium of parrots
  • An ostentation of peacocks
  • A pod of pelicans
  • A convent of penguins
  • A bouquet of pheasants
  • A drift of quail
  • An unkindness of ravens
  • A fling of sandpipers
  • A host of sparrows
  • A chattering of starlings
  • A phalanx of storks
  • A gulp of swallows
  • A lamentation of swans
  • A pitying of turtle doves
  • A descent of woodpeckers

You can add color and flair to your manuscript by comparing groups of characters to groups of animals. Here are a lsit of the names of the groups of individual bird kinds. We’ll have more lists coming soon.

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