Collective Nouns for Animals

Collective nouns for animals range from unpredictable to downright hilarious. When you read through this list of collective nouns for animals, I can almost promise you’ll be surprised by something along the way.

Whether you are a logophile (a lover of words) or want to impress your friends on your next hike, you are in the right place. I’ll share a long list of collective nouns for animals in this post.

My favorite collective nouns for animals:

  • A flamboyance of flamingos
  • A murder of crows
  • An unkindness of ravens

Collective Nouns for Animals

I chose to break this list up based on the type of animals. Feel free to skip to the section you are most interested in.

Names for Groups of Birds

While you can use the word flock or colony to describe most groups of birds, some types of birds have earned a special collective noun.

Let’s start by exploring collective nouns for birds:

  • Choughs: A clattering
  • Crows: A murder
  • Ducks: A skein (in the air), a paddling (on the water), or a raft (on the water)
  • Doves: A dole
  • Eagles: a convocation
  • Finches: A charm, chirm
  • Flamingos: A flamboyance
  • Geese: A gaggle
  • Grouse: A brace or pack
  • Hawks: A kettle (in flight)
  • Herons: A siege, sedge, or sege
  • Nightingales: A watch
  • Owls: A parliament
  • Parrots: A pandemonium
  • Peacocks: A muster, pride, or ostentation
  • Pelicans: A pod, squadron, pouch, or scoop
  • Penguins: A waddle (on land), colony
  • Pigeons: A kit
  • Plovers: A wing or congregation
  • Ravens: An unkindness or congress
  • Seagulls: A squabble, scavenging, colony, or flock
  • Swans: A bevy, flock, or bank
  • Sparrows: A host
  • Starlings: A murmuration
  • Woodpeckers: A descent
  • Quails: A covey, bevy, or flock

Above is a flamboyance of flamingos.

Names for Groups of Fish

Some of the most commonly used names for groups of fish include a school or a shoal. But specific types of fish have specialized collective nouns that can be used to describe them. Below is a closer look at collective nouns for fish:

  • Trout: A hover of trout
  • Salmon: A run of salmon
  • Sharks: A shiver of sharks
  • Herring: An army of herring
  • Sardines: A family of sardines
  • Tuna: A fleet of tuna
  • Cod: A lap of cod
  • Mackerel: A shoal of mackerel
  • Anchovies: A cast of anchovies
  • Bass: A shoal of bass
  • Perch: A pod of perch
  • Catfish: A clutter of catfish
  • Clownfish: A parade of clownfish
  • Swordfish: A gladiator of swordfish
  • Angelfish: A company of angelfish
  • Grouper: A gaggle of grouper

Names for Groups of Mammals

Below are collective nouns for mammals. My favorite is a tower of giraffes, what’s yours?

  • Apes: A shrewdness
  • Bears: A sleuth or sloth
  • Cats: A clowder of cats (or a glaring of cats)
  • Cheetahs: A coalition
  • Coyotes: A band
  • Camels: A caravan
  • Cattle: A herd
  • Deer: A herd
  • Dolphins: A pod
  • Elephants: A parade or herd
  • Elk: A gang
  • Foxes: A skulk or earth
  • Ferrets: A business
  • Giraffes: A tower
  • Horses: A herd or harras
  • Hyenas: A clan or cackle
  • Hippopotamuses: A bloat
  • Kangaroos: A mob or troop
  • Lemurs: A conspiracy
  • Lions: A pride
  • Otters: A romp, raft, or bevy
  • Panda: An embarrassment
  • Pigs: A sounder
  • Platypus: A paddle
  • Prarie dogs: A coterie
  • Porcupines: A prickle
  • Monkeys: A troop
  • Rabbits: A berry
  • Rhinoceroses: A crash
  • Seals: A plump, colony, or harem
  • Whales: A pod
  • Wolves: A pack
  • Zebras: A zeal
Pod of orcas on my trip to Alaska!

Names for Groups of Reptiles

Some groups of reptiles have earned unique collective noun monikers. Below is a list of collective nouns for reptiles:

  • Crocodiles: A bask of crocodiles
  • Turtles: A bale of turtles
  • Lizards: A lounge of lizards
  • Snakes: A knot of snakes
  • Chameleons: A confusion of chameleons
  • Iguanas: A mess of iguanas
  • Komodo Dragons: A cluster of Komodo dragons
  • Alligators: A congregation of alligators
  • Tortoises: A creep of tortoises
  • Geckos: A scurry of geckos

Names for Groups of Invertebrates

Invertebrates are easy to overlook. But as a former wildlife biologist who studied invertebrates, these critters have a special place in my heart. Here’s a look at some of the names for groups of invertebrates:

  • Ants: A colony of ants
  • Bees: A swarm of bees
  • Butterflies: A kaleidoscope of butterflies
  • Crabs: A cast of crabs
  • Jellyfish: A smack of jellyfish
  • Locusts: A plague of locusts
  • Octopuses: A consortium of octopuses
  • Spiders: A cluster of spiders
  • Flies: A business of flies
  • Snails: A rout of snails
  • Squid: A squad of squid
  • Mussels: A bed of mussels

Collective Nouns for Animals: Frequently Asked Questions

You have questions about collective nouns for animals. I have answers.

What is a group of armadillos called?

A group of armadillos is called a roll.

What is a group of crows called?

A group of crows is called a murder.

Final Take on Collective Nouns for Animals

From a “murder” of crows to a “parliament” of owls, these unique terms add a touch of whimsy to our understanding of the animal kingdom. So, whether you’re a language enthusiast or simply curious, embracing these collective nouns invites you to appreciate the rich tapestry of words that bring our world to life.