What is a group of owls called? Everything you need to know!

A group of owls is called a parliament. With their reputation for a wise demeanor, the thought of a group of owls convening as a parliament to discuss the business of the day is comical.

We explore what you can call a group of owls and why they earned these names.

Key points:

  • A group of owls is called a parliament.
  • Owls represent Athena, the goddess of wisdom in Greek mythology.

What do you call a group of owls?

The most common noun used to describe a group of owls is called a parliament.

Why is a group of owls called a parliament?

The idea that owls represent wisdom is long-standing. In fact, the owl represented Athena, the goddess of wisdom in ancient Greece.

It’s likely that the word parliament has been used to describe a group of owls since the Middle Ages. However, the phrase gained popularity after it was used by C.S. Lewis in the Chronicles of Narina.

Other nouns to describe a group of owls:

While the word parliament is a common way to describe a group of owls, it’s not the only one. Below is a look at some of the other words you can use to describe owls in a group:

  • Congress
  • Wisdom
  • Study
  • Stare
  • Blink
  • Hooting
  • Colony
  • Brood
  • Sovereignty
  • Bazaar (for a group of owls in flight)
  • Booming (for a group of Boreal Owls)

When do owls form groups?

Owls are generally solitary birds, known for their independent and territorial nature. However, there are certain circumstances and times when owls may form groups or exhibit communal behaviors:

  1. Breeding Season: During the breeding season, some owl species may tolerate the presence of other owls, especially their mate. The pair may share responsibilities like hunting and protecting the nesting territory. While not forming large groups, this temporary association showcases a cooperative effort for the survival and care of their offspring.
  2. Winter Roosts: In colder months, owls might gather in loose groups, often referred to as winter roosts. This behavior is more commonly observed among smaller owl species. Roosting together can provide warmth and protection against predators, enhancing the chances of survival during harsh weather conditions.
  3. Abundant Prey: In regions with abundant prey resources, such as a surge in rodent populations, multiple owls may be attracted to the same hunting grounds. While they maintain individual territories, the concentration of prey can result in a temporary coexistence of owls in a given area.
  4. Migration: Some owl species are known to migrate, and during their migratory journeys, they might be seen in groups. The migratory behavior facilitates communal roosting and hunting, allowing the owls to support each other during the long and challenging journey.

Frequently asked questions

You have questions about groups of birds. We have answers.

What is a group of woodpeckers called?

A group of woodpeckers is typically called a “descent” or a “drumming” of woodpeckers.

What is a group of ravens called?

A group of ravens is commonly referred to as an “unkindness” of ravens.

What is a group of hawks called?

A group of hawks is often called a “kettle” of hawks when they are soaring together in large numbers during migration.