Collective nouns for animals

Below is a list of the collective nouns for animals. If you would like to add to or amend this list, please leave a comment below.

These collective nouns can have a long history, and have been developed since medieval times.

For example, the “Book of St. Albans”, dating back to 1486, was a guide to hawking and hunting, and  listed many of the collective nouns for animals we still use today.

For some animals, there is more than one collective noun, reflecting how close people have been to them througout history. Have a look at Cats, Dogs and Horses in the list below. Some collective nouns are used for more than one animal. For example, both Bats and Ants can be found in a ‘Colony’.

Collective nouns for mammals & marsupials

Animal Collective Nouns
Antelope Herd
Apes Shrewdness
Asses Pace, Herd, Drove
Baboons Troop, Flange
Badgers Cete
Bats Colony, Cloud
Bears Sloth, Sleuth, Litter (young)
Beavers Colony, Family
Bison Herd
Buffalo Gang, Obstinacy
Camels Caravan, Flock, Train
Caribou Herd
Cats Clowder, Pounce; (Kittens: Kindle, Litter, Intrigue), Destruction (wild cats)
Cattle Drove, Herd
Cheetah Coalition
Chinchilla Colony
Cows Herd, Kine
Coyotes Band
Deer Herd, Bevy (only for roe deer)
Dogs Litter (puppies), Pack (if wild), Cowardice (curs), Leash(Greyhounds). For hounds: Cry, Mute, Pack, Kennel
Dolphins Pod
Donkeys Drove, Herd, Pace
Elephants Herd, Memory
Elk Gang
Ferrets Business, Cast, Fesnying
Fox Leash, Skulk, Earth, Lead, Troop
Giraffes Tower
Goats Tribe, Trip
Gorillas Band, Troop
Hedgehogs Array
Hippopotamuses Bloat
Horses Team, Harras, Rag (colts), Stud (a group of horses owned by one person), String (for ponies)
Hyenas Cackle, Clan
Impalas Herd
Kangaroos Mob, Troop
Leopards Leap
Lions Pride, Sault, Troop
Martens Richness
Mice Mischief
Moles Labor
Monkeys Troop, Barrel
Moose Herd
Mules Pack, Span, Barren, rake
Otters Bevy, Family, Raft, Romp
Oxen Team, Yoke
Pigs Drift, Drove, Litter (piglets), Sounder (swine only), Team, Passel (hogs only), Singular (for boars)
Polecats Chine
Porcupines Prickle
Porpoises  Crowd, Herd, Pod, School, Shoal
Rabbits Colony, Warren, Nest, Herd (domesticated only), Litter (young rabbits), Down (hares), husk (hares)
Raccoons Gaze
Rats Colony, Pack, Plague, Swarm
Reindeer Herd
Rhinoceroses Crash
Roebucks Bevy
Seals Bob, Harem, Herd, Pod, Rookery
Sheep Drove, Flock, Herd
Springbok Herd
Squirrels Dray, Scurry
Stoats Pack, Trip
Tigers Ambush, Streak
Walruses Herd, Pod
Weasles Gang, Colony, Pack
Whales Pod, Gam, Herd, School
Wolves Pack, Rout, Route (when moving)
Wombats Wisdom
Zebras Zeal, Crossing, Dazzle, Cohorts, Herd

Collective nouns for birds

Animal Collective Nouns
Birds in general Brace (for a couple of birds that have been killed when hunted), Flight (when flying), Flock (when on the ground), Volary
Albatross Rookery
Bitterns Sedge
Bullfinches Bellowing
Buzzards Wake
Bobolinks Chain
Capons Mews
Chickens Brood, Peep, Young chickens: Chattering, Clutch
Chicks (Various birds) Brood; Clutch
Coots Cover
Cormorants Gulp
Cranes Sedge, Seige
Crows Horde, Murder
Dotterel Trip
Doves Dule, Pitying (Turtle doves only)
Ducks Balding, Brace (a couple of hunted and killed ducks), Flock (flying), Paddling (on water), Raft (on water), Team
Dunlins Fling
Eagles Convocation
Emus Mob
Finches Charm
Falcons Cast
Flamingos Stand
Geese Flock, Gaggle (grounded), Skein (flying)
Goshawks Flight
Grouse Pack (later in the hunting season)
Guillemots Bazaar
Guinea Fowl Confusion
Gulls Colony
Hawks Boil (when spiraling in flight), Cast, Kettle (large amount of flying hawks)
Herons Sedge, Siege
Hummingbirds Charm
Jays Party, Scold
Lapwings Deceit
Larks Exaltation
Mallards Sord (flying), Brace (two that havce been hunted and killed)
Magpies Charm, Gulp, Murder, Tiding
Nightingales Watch
Owls Parliament
Parrots Company, Pandemonium
Partridge Covey
Peacocks Muster, Ostentation
Pelicans Pod
Penguins Colony
Pheasant Bouquet, Brace (couple hunted and killed), Nest, Nide, Nye,
Flight, Flock, Kit
Plovers Congregation, Wing (flying)
Ptarmigans Covey
Rooks Building, Clamor, Parliament
Ruffs Hill
Quail Bevy, Covey
Ravens Storytelling, Unkindness
Seabirds Wreck
Sheldrakes Doading
Skylarks Exultation
Snipe Walk, Wisp
Sparrows Host
Starlings Murmuration
Storks Mustering
Swallows Flight
Swans Bevy, Wedge (flying)
Swifts Flock
Teal Spring
Thrush Mutation
Turkeys Gang, Rafter
Turtle Doves Pitying, Dule
Vultures Kettle (flying), Venue
Waterfowls Knob, Plump
Widgeons Company
Wildfowl Plump
Woodcocks Fall
Woodpeckers Descent
Wrens Herd

Collective nouns for fish

Animal Collective Nouns
Fish (general) Draft, Nest, School, Shoal (some academics argue that ‘School’ is incorrect, and that Shoal should be used instead). When caught: Catch, Drought, Haul
Barracudas Battery
Bass Shoal
Cod Lap
Eels Bed, Fry, Swarm
Goldfish Glint, Troubling
Herring Army
Sardines Family
Sharks Shiver
Stingrays Fever
Trout Hover

Collective nouns for reptiles and amphibians

Animal Collective Nouns
Alligators Congregation
Cobras Quiver
Crocodiles Bask, Float
Frogs Army, Colony
Lizards Lounge
Rattlesnakes Rhumba
Salamanders Congress
Toads Knab, Knot, Nest
Turtles Bale, Dole, Nest, Turn
Snakes, vipers Den, Generation, Knot, Nest, Pit

Collective nouns for invertebrates (including insects, molluscs etc.)

Animal Collective Nouns
Ants Army, Colony, Nest, Swarm (flying)
Bees Grist, Hive, Swarm
Caterpillars Army
Clams Bed
Cockroaches Intrusion
Crabs Cast
Flies Business, Cloud, Swarm
Gnats Cloud, Horde, Swarm
Grasshoppers Cloud
Hornets Bike, Nest
Insects (general) Horde, Nest, Plague, Rabble, Swarm
Jellyfish Brood, Smack
Lice Flock
Locusts Plague
Midges Bite
Mosquitoes Scourge
Oysters Bed
Scorpions Bed, Nest
Spiders Cluster, Clutter
Termites Brood, Colony, Nest, Swarm
Wasps Nest, Swarm
Worms Bed, Bunch, Clat, Clew

Collective nouns for single-celled organisms

Organism Collective Nouns
Bacteria Culture
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    50 thoughts on “Collective nouns for animals

    1. Very informative.interesting to learn so many collective nouns.very useful for me being a teacher.

    2. How wonderful language is….and after using the technology, hopefully we’ll be creative and humanly communicative with the results.

    3. After watching some wonderful Superb Blue Fairy Wrens today, can I suggest their collective be “a twittering?”

    4. Collective of emus used in north of SA when I was a kid was a “bolt” of emus, presumably related to their tendancy to bolt away when approached by a horseman, or by people in a truck.

    5. Great site – I have also seen “array” and “seething” as collective nouns for eels, probably great choices to add?

    6. On the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve near Haines Alaska, the eagles gather at the Council Grounds to feed on spawning salmon. Not merely a convocation, a Council of Eagles.

    7. And if you should come across them, it’s called a blessing of unicorns. But I think they tend to appear alone?

    8. *Thank You very much for collection of collective nouns. It s very useful to learn collective nouns use while speaking good english and teaching others. Its not easy to learn all collective nouns together, these lists be a great help.

    9. Journey of Giraffe . As a safari guide for 30 years we have have lot of fun whilst looking for game and pose these questions to our guests and we often refer to your list , thank you .

    10. Any ideas for a group of Slow-worms; Great Crested Newts, Palmate Newts, Smooth Newts, Grass Snakes, Smooth Snakes?

    11. Dog breeds
      Guard for Cane Corso
      Tuft for Pomeranians
      Blaze for Dalmatians
      Grumble for Pugs
      Leash for Greyhounds
      probably more but these are the ones I have heard of.

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