Thursday, August 7, 2008

Top 5 Collective Nouns for Birds

This post may have the nerdiest title ever, but oh my god you guys, there are so many awesomely hilarious names for groups of birds! I was not privy to this quirky portion of the English lexicon until yesterday when I was playing Quizzo at a bar and was asked the question: What is a group of owls called? I should know this since owls are my favorite animal plus I've read/watched all of the Harry Potter books/movies wherein owls are frequently depicted flying in packs. But I had no idea so I just wrote down a logical guess, a flock. Well the actual answer was shocking: a group of owls is a parliament! What the hell, right? I didn't truly believe this was correct. So I went home and drunkenly looked up the answer on Wikipedia, where I was greeted with this entry on collective bird names. I was, and still am, amazed at the "fanciful" and "poetic" names on the I decided to pick my top 5 for your reading pleasure. Your welcome.

5. A congress of eagles: Its sorta like parliament of owls, but the American version. How stately.

4. A flamboyance of flamingos: No description necessary.

3. Lamentation of swans: I never thought of swans as being sad. But now that I think of it, I guess their heads are always down. I just thought their necks were shaped that way so that when they kiss each other it forms a heart. I'm pretty sure Lisa Frank, would agree with me. But aww cheer up swans!

2. Pandemonium of parrots: This name seriously made me laugh out loud (LOL). But when I googled it and saw this photo, it made sense. This sure is pandemonium. Especially since parrots sort of give me the creeps. I would never want one because I'd be afraid it would mimic the horrible things I say when I think no one is listening. Like, "I love Katie Couric." Yeah right, gag me.

1. Murder of crows: How eeeerie. But I must say this term perfectly encapsulates the essence of the crow. Especially with all that West Nile virus business. Short story: There was once a dead crow at the pool I lifeguarded at, and when we called it in to the authorities (per government instructions) they didn't even care! They were all, "Oh um just dispose of the remains in a sanitary fashion." You mean rather than slice it up and serve it as a pizza topping? Turned out that it was the escaped pet of one of the neighborhood loonies!

Runners up: Piteousness of doves; Confusion of guinea fowl; and Ostentation of peacocks.


Slamm D. Unk said...

I love this post! my favorite grouping of animals (outside of the bird family), A BUSINESS OF FERRETS

Jeff Cunningham said...

This post fits right into my interests; birds and gatherings. Gatherings also being things like Magic the Gathering. I hope you will write more about birds, especially white owls.

Alissa said...

This was great:) you should become a gradeschool teacher and assign a project that entails researching ridiculous names for animal gatherings. it's fun, AND educational