Unusual Names for Groups of Animals


Almost all animals gather in groups at some point in their lives. When they form groups, it’s mainly for safety purposes because they are less likely to be attacked by predators if they come in groups. Well, whatever their other reasons are for gathering together, there’s one thing common that happens when animals form into groups, and that is having unusual collective names.

Some of the most common names of animal groups that we often hear are, a herd of cows, a pack of wolves, and a school of fish. But what about animals like emus, hyenas, and others, what do you call their groups? There are some groups of animals that have bizarre names and they are rarely used even by scientists. However, no matter how unusual those names are, they still represent our own species’ collective creativity for linguistics. If you are wondering what these bizarre names are, here are some of the unusual names for different groups of animals.


Birds Migrating

There are so many species of birds that can be found all over the world and each of those species have collective names. Here are some of the unusual ones:

Bitterns: a sedge

Buzzards: a wake

Bobolinks: a chain

Coots: a cover

Cormorants: a gulp

Crows: a murder or horde

Dotterel: a trip

Doves: a dule or pitying (specific to turtle doves)

Ducks: a brace, team, flock (in flight), raft (on water), paddling or badling

Eagles: a convocation

Finches: a charm

Flamingos: a stand

Geese: a flock, a gaggle (if on the ground) or a skein (if in flight)

Grouse: a pack (in late season)

Hawks: a cast, a kettle (in flight) or a boil (two or more spiraling in the air)

Herons: a sedge or siege

Jays: a party or scold

Lapwings: a deceit

Larks: an exaltation

Mallards: a sord (in flight) or brace

Magpies: a tiding, gulp, murder or charm

Nightingales: a watch

Owls: a parliament

Parrots: a pandemonium or company

Partridge: a covey

Peafowl: an ostentation or muster

Penguins: a colony, muster, parcel or rookery

Pheasant: a nest, nide (a brood), nye or bouquet

Plovers: a congregation or wing (in flight)

Ptarmigans: a covey

Rooks: a building

Quail: a bevy or covey

Ravens: an unkindness

Snipe: a walk or wisp

Sparrows: a host

Starlings: a murmuration

Storks: a mustering

Swans: a bevy, game or wedge (in flight)

Teal: a spring

Turkeys: a rafter or gang

Woodcocks: a fall

Woodpeckers: a descent


In general, the collective name for a group of fish is a school of fish. But when we’re talking about specific species of fish, their collective names change as well. Here are some unusual ones:

Barracudas: a batter

Herring: an army

Sharks: a shiver

Trout: a hover

Mammals and Marsupials


There are lots of mammals and marsupials in the world and here are some species that have unusual collective names:

Apes: a shrewdness

Badgers: a cete

Bats: a cauldron

Bears: a sloth or sleuth

Buffalo: a gang or obstinacy

Cats: a clowder, pounce or glaring; for kittens: a kindle, litter or intrigue

Dogs: a litter (puppies), pack (wild) or cowardice (curs)

Donkeys: a pace

Elephants: a parade

Elk: a gang

Ferrets: a business

Fox: a leash, skulk or earth

Giraffes: a tower

Goats: a tribe or trip

Gorillas: a band

Hippopotamuses: a bloat or thunder

Hyenas: a cackle

Jaguars: a shadow

Kangaroos: a troop or mob

Lemurs: a conspiracy

Leopards: a leap

Lions: a pride or sawt

Martens: a richness

Moles: a labor

Monkeys: a troop or barrel

Mules: a pack, span or barren

Otters: a romp

Pigs: a drift, a drove, a sounder, a team, or a passel

Porcupines: a prickle

Porpoises: a pod, a school, a herd or a turmoil

Rabbits: a colony, a warren, a nest, down, husk or herd (domestic only)

Rhinoceroses: a crash

Squirrels: a dray or scurry

Tigers: an ambush or streak

Whales: a pod, gam or herd


This Jellyfish Species Lives Forever

Invertebrates are the animals that do not possess a skeleton of bone either internal or external. Here are some of their unusual group names:

Bees: a grist, hive or swarm

Caterpillars: an army

Clams: a bed

Crabs: a consortium

Cockroaches: an intrusion

Flies: a business

Grasshoppers: a cloud

Jellyfish: a bloom, fluther or smack

Lobsters: a risk

Oysters: a bed

Snails: a hood

Squid: an audience

Reptiles and Amphibians


These cold blooded animals form groups as well and here are some of their unusual collective names:

Cobras: a quiver

Crocodiles: a bask

Frogs: an army

Toads: a knot

Turtles: a bale or nest

Salamanders: a maelstrom

Snakes and Vipers: a nest

These unusual animals group names are kind of difficult to remember, but it’s amazing to know that people have come up with these bizarre names to call different groups of animals. When you see a group of animals somewhere, try and see if you can tell what their group name is.

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