Collective Nouns for Animals

by Craig Shrives

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300 Collective Nouns for Animals

A collective noun is a word used to represent a group of people, animals, or things.
The collective nouns used for groups of animals are often bizarre (e.g., an "opera" of canaries, a "whoop" of chimpanzees). While most of us know that the collective noun for ants is an "army," and the collective noun for lions is a "pride," finding the collective noun for a group of lesser-known animals is more challenging. For example, did you know that a group of armadillos is called a "roll" and a group of crickets is called an "orchestra"?

Unfortunately, there are lots of fanciful collective nouns, particularly for animals, now circulating (e.g., a "dazzle" of zebras, a "galaxy" of starfish), and it has become difficult to establish whether these are acceptable in formal writing. If a collective noun seems overly clever or poetic, it is worth investigating whether it is a genuine collective noun before including it in a formal, scientific document. If you're writing verse or fiction, you are far safer to use a collective noun that is suspiciously fanciful.

Here is a list of 300 collective nouns for animals.

Just for fun, we've added game of hangman, which selects a word from this list as the secret word.
collective nouns for animals
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    A

  • aardvarks
    an armoury of aardvarks
  • adders
    a nest of adders
  • (A group of adders is also listed as a sum, but this is a fanciful word, i.e., clearly made up and not a recognized collective noun for adders.)
  • albatrosses
    a rookery of albatrosses
    (A group of albatrosses is also called a flock, flight, gam, or weight.)
  • alligators
    a congregation of alligators
    (A group of alligators is also called a bask.)
  • alpacas
    a herd of alpacas
    (A group of alpacas is also called a flock.)
  • amoebas
    an ooze of amoebas
  • antelopes
    a herd of antelopes
    (A group of antelopes is also called a cluster or tribe.)
  • an army of ants
    (A group of ants is also called a colony, nest, or swarm.)
  • a troop of apes
    (A group of apes is also called a shrewdness.)
  • armadillos
    a roll of armadillos
  • asses
    a herd of asses
  • auks
    a raft of auks
    (A group of apes is also called a colony.)
  • avocets
    a colony of avocets
  • B

  • a troop of baboons
  • bacteria
    a culture of bacteria
  • a cete of badgers
  • barracuda
    a battery of barracuda
  • bass
    a fleet of bass
  • a colony of bats
  • a sloth of bears
    (A group of bears is also called a sleuth.)
  • beavers
    a colony of beavers
  • a hive of bees
    (A group of bees is also called a swarm, bike, or drift.)
  • a flock of birds
    (A group of birds is also called a colony (roosting in large numbers), drift (in flight), rush (migrating), or dissimulation (small birds).)
  • bison
    a gang of bison
  • bitterns
    a sedge of bitterns
    (A group of bitterns is also called a siege or a pretence.)
  • a cloud of blackbirds
    (A group of blackbirds is also called a grind.)
  • bloodhounds
    a sute of bloodhounds
  • boars
    a herd of boars
  • bucks
    a herd of bucks
  • budgerigars
    a flock of budgerigars
  • buffalo
    a herd of buffalo
    (A group of buffalo is also called a gang.)
  • bullfinches
    a bellowing of bullfinches
  • bullocks
    a drove of bullocks
  • bustards
    a flock of bustards
  • butterflies
    a flight of butterflies
    (A group of butterflies is also called a wing.)
  • a wake of buzzards
  • C

  • camels
    a flock of camels
    (A group of camels is also called a herd, caravan, or train.)
  • canaries
    an opera of canaries
  • capercaillie
    a tok of capercaillie
  • caterpillars
    an army of caterpillars
  • a clowder of cats
    (A group of cats is also called a cluster, litter (kittens of the same mother), destruction (wild cats), or nuisance.)
  • a herd of cattle
    (A group of cattle is also called a mob, drift, or drove (when being driven).)
  • cheetahs
    a coalition of cheetahs
  • a brood of chickens
    (A group of chickens is also called a flock, clutch (chicks from the same mother), or peep (fanciful).)
  • a whoop of chimpanzees
  • chinchillas
    a herd of chinchillas
  • choughs
    a chattering of choughs
    (A group of choughs is also called a clattering.)
  • clams
    a bed of clams
  • cobras
    a quiver of cobras
  • cockatoos
    a chattering of cockatoos
  • cockroaches
    an intrusion of cockroaches
  • coots
    a covert of coots
    (A group of coots is also called a raft or commotion.)
  • a flight of cormorants
  • a herd of cows
  • coyotes
    a band of coyotes
  • crabs
    a scuttle of crabs
  • cranes
    a herd of cranes
    (A group of cranes is also called a sedge, siege, or horde.)
  • crickets
    an orchestra of crickets
  • crocodiles
    a bask of crocodiles
  • a murder of crows
    (A group of crows is also called a horde, hover, mob, muster, parcel, or parliament.)
  • cubs
    a litter of cubs
  • curlews
    a herd of curlews
  • D

  • deer
    a herd of deer
  • dinosaurs
    a herd of dinosaurs
  • dodos
    an extinction of dodos
  • a pack of dogs
    (A group of dogs is also called a brace (two) or leash (three).)
  • a pod of dolphins
    (A group of dolphins is also called a school or herd.)
  • a herd of donkeys
    (A group of donkeys is also called a pace.)
  • dotterels
    a trip of dotterels
  • doves
    a dole of doves
    (A group of doves is also called a bevy, flight, piteousness, or pitying.)
  • dragons
    a flight of dragons
  • ducklings
    a fleet of ducklings
  • a flock of ducks
    (A group of ducks is also called a paddling (on water), raft (on water), dopping (when diving), plump (when flying), badling, flush, sord, team, or twack.)
  • dunlins
    a fling of dunlins
    (The term "fling" refers to dunlins in flight.)
  • E

  • a convocation of eagles
    (A group of eagles is also called a congress.)
  • a swarm of eels
  • a congregation of egrets
    (A group of egrets is also called a wedge.)
  • a herd of elephants
  • elk
    a gang of elk
    (A group of elk is also called a herd.)
  • elves
    a drove of elves
  • a mob of emus
  • F

  • falcons
    a cast of falcons
    (The term cast refers specifically to a pair released after a game bird. A group of falcons is also called a soar or a tower.)
  • a business of ferrets
  • a charm of finches
    (A group of finches is also called a trembling, trimming, or chirm.)
  • fireflies
    a conflagration of fireflies
  • a shoal of fish
    (A group of fish is also called a school or run (moving upstream for spawning).)
  • a stand of flamingos
    (A group of flamingos is also called a flamboyance.)
  • a swarm of flies
  • fowl
    a roost of fowl
    (A group of fowl is also called a skein (in flight), plump, or trip.)
  • an earth of foxes
    (A group of foxes is also called a leash (three) or skulk.)
  • a knot of frogs
    (A group of frogs is also called an army.)
  • fur seals
    a harem of seals
    (The term harem refers specifically to a group of female seals belonging to one male.)
  • G

  • a gaggle of geese
    (A group of geese is also called a flock, skein (in flight), or wedge (in v formation in flight).)
  • geldings
    a clipping of geldings
  • gerbils
    a horde of gerbils
  • a herd of giraffes
  • gnats
    a cloud of gnats
  • gnus
    a herd of gnus
  • a flock of goats
    (A group of goats is also called a herd or trip.)
  • a charm of goldfinches
    (A group of goldfinches is also called a pantheon, drum, troubling, or chirm.)
  • goldfish
    a glint of goldfish
  • a band of gorillas
  • goshawks
    a flight of goshawks
  • goslings
    a skein of goslings
  • grasshoppers
    a cloud of grasshoppers
  • greyhounds
    a leash of greyhounds
  • griffins
    a pride of griffins
  • grouse
    a pack of grouse
    (A group of grouse is also called a covey, brace (two), or lek.)
  • guillemots
    a bazaar of guillemots
  • guinea fowl
    a confusion of guinea fowl
  • a herd of guinea pigs
  • gulls
    a colony of gulls
    (A group of gulls is also called a screech.)
  • H

  • a horde of hamsters
  • a down of hares
    (A group of hares is also called a huske or leash (three).)
  • a cast of hawks
    (The term "cast" refers specifically to a pair of hawks released after a game bird. A group of hawks is also called a kettle (riding a thermal) or leash (three).)
  • a prickle of hedgehogs
  • a brood of hens
  • a siege of herons
    (A group of herons is also called a glean, sedge, or station.)
  • herrings
    a glean of herrings
  • a bloat of hippopotamuses
  • hogs
    a sounder of hogs
  • hornets
    a swarm of hornets
    (A group of hornets is also called a nest.)
  • a herd of horses
    (A group of horses is also called a harras, span (a team of two), or string.)
  • hounds
    a pack of hounds
    (A group of hounds is also called a mute, brace (two), leash (three), or cry.)
  • hummingbirds
    a charm of hummingbirds
  • a clan of hyenas
  • I

  • ibises
    a colony of ibises
  • a mess of iguanas
  • a colony of insects
  • insects (flying)
    a swarm of insects
    (A group of flying insects is also called a cloud.)
  • J

  • jackals
    a pack of jackals
    (A group of jackals is also called a skulk.)
  • a band of jackdaws
    (A group of jackdaws is also called a clattering or train.)
  • a prowl of jaguars
  • a band of jays
  • (A group of jays is also called a party or scold.)
  • a smack of jellyfish
    (A group of jellyfish is also called a fluther.)
  • K

  • a mob of kangaroos
    (A group of kangaroos is also called a troop or court.)
  • kestrels
    a hover of kestrels
  • a pod of whales
  • a realm of kingfishers
    (A group of kingfishers is also called a crown or concentration.)
  • a litter of kittens
    (A group of kittens is also called a kindle.)
  • knots
    a cluster of knots
  • L

  • ladybirds
    a loveliness of ladybirds
  • lambs
    a fall of lambs
  • a desert of lapwings
    (A group of lapwings is also called a deceit.)
  • a bevy of larks
    (A group of larks is also called an exaltation or exalting.)
  • a conspiracy of lemurs
  • a leap of leopards
  • leverets
    a kindle of leverets
  • lice
    a colony of lice
  • a pride of lions
  • lizards
    a lounge of lizards
  • a herd of llamas
  • lobsters
    a risk of lobsters
  • locusts
    a plague of locusts
  • lovebirds
    a pair of lovebirds
  • M

  • mackerel
    a shoal of mackerel
    (A group of mackerel is also called a school.)
  • a tiding of magpies
    (A group of magpies is also called a conventicle, gulp, mischief, or tittering.)
  • mallards
    a sord of mallards
    (A group of mallards is also called a sute.)
  • mares
    a stud of mares
  • martens
    a richness of martens
  • a clan of meerkats
  • merlins
    a cast of merlins
    (The term cast refers specifically to a pair released after a game bird.)
  • a nest of mice
  • midges
    a swarm of midges
    (A group of midges is also called a bite.)
  • minnows
    a shoal of minnows
    (A group of minnows is also called a stream.)
  • mockingbirds
    an impression of mockingbirds
  • a labour of moles
    (A group of moles is also called a company.)
  • a band of mongooses
  • mongrels
    a ménage of mongrels
  • a troop of monkeys
  • moorhens
    a flock of moorhens
    (A group of moorhens is also called a plump.)
  • a herd of moose
  • mosquitoes
    a swarm of mosquitoes
    (A group of mosquitoes is also called a scourge.)
  • moths
    an eclipse of moths
  • mules
    a barren of mules
    (A group of mules is also called a span (a team of two) or string.)
  • mussels
    a bed of mussels
  • N

  • a pod of narwhals
    (A group of narwhals is also called a school.)
  • an armada of newts
  • a watch of nightingales
  • a booby of nuthatches
  • O

  • a consortium of octopuses
  • a buffoonery of orangutans
  • a flock of ostriches
  • a bevy of otters
  • a parliament of owls
    (A group of owls is also called a stare, study, or wisdom.)
  • oystercatchers
    a parcel of oystercatchers
  • oxen
    a herd of oxen
    (A group of oxen is also called a drove, span, or a team.)
  • a bed of oysters
  • P

  • pandas
    an embarrassment of pandas
  • a company of parrots
    (A group of parrots is also called a prattle or pandemonium.)
  • partridges
    a covey of partridges
  • a muster of peacocks
    (A group of peacocks is also called an ostentation or pride.)
  • peasants
    a toil of peasants
    (A group of peasants is also called a bouquet, covey, nide, or nye.)
  • pelicans
    a squadron of penguins
    (A group of pelicans is also called a scoop.)
  • penguins
    a colony of penguins
    (A group of penguins is also called an creche, huddle, parcel, or rookery.)
  • perch
    a pack of perch
  • a bazaar of peregrines
    (A group of peregrines is also called a eyrie, ringing, stooping up, or tower.)
  • a bevy of pheasants
    (A group of pheasants is also called a bouquet (when flushed), or nye.)
  • a flock of pigeons
    (A group of pigeons is also called a litter, kit or loft.)
  • piglets
    a litter of piglets
  • pigs
    a herd of pigs
  • pilchards
    a shoal of pilchards
    (A group of pilchards is also called a school.)
  • pintails
    a knob of pintails
  • pipers
    a poverty of pipers
  • plovers
    a congregations of plovers
    (A group of plovers is also called a wing.)
  • pochard
    a flock of pochard
    (A group of pochard is also called a rush.)
  • a celebration of polar bears
  • polecats
    a chine of polecats
  • a string of ponies
  • poodles
    a salon of poodles
  • porcupines
    a prickle of porcupines
  • porpoises
    a pod of porpoises
    (A group of porpoises is also called a school or herd.)
  • possums
    a passel of possums
  • poultry
    a run of poultry
  • prairie dogs
    a coterie of dogs
  • ptarmigans
    a parliament of ptarmigans
  • puffins
    a raft of puffins
  • pugs
    a grumble of pugs
  • pumas
    a prowl of pumas
  • puppies
    a litter of puppies
  • Q

  • a bevy of quails
    (A group of quail is also called a covey.)
  • R

  • a colony of rabbits
    (A group of rabbits is also called a berry.)
  • a gaze of raccoons
  • racehorses
    a string of racehorses
  • rams
    a battery of rams
  • a swarm of rats
    (A group of rats is also called a pack.)
  • rattlesnakes
    a rhumba of rattlesnakes
  • an unkindness of ravens
    (A group of ravens is also called a constable.)
  • redwing
    a crowd of redwing
  • reindeer
    a herd of reindeer
  • a crash of rhinoceroses
  • a blush of robins
    (A group of robins is also called a blush, bobbin (fanciful), breast, carol (fanciful), gift, reliant (funny), riot, rouge, round, ruby, or worm (especially in America).
  • roe deer
    a bevy of deer
  • a parliament of rooks
    (A group of rooks is also called a building or clamour.)
  • ruffs
    a hill of ruffs
  • S

  • salmon
    a bind of salmon
  • sandpipers
    a fling of sandpipers
    (A group of sandpipers is also called a bind, cluster, contradiction, or hill.)
  • sardines
    a shoal of sardines
    (A group of sardines is also called a school or family.)
  • sea horses
    a herd of horses
  • a colony of seagulls
    (A group of seagulls is also called a flock.)
  • a herd of seals
    (A group of seals is also called a plump or spring.)
  • shad
    a shoal of shad
  • a school of sharks
  • a flock of sheep
    (A group of sheep is also called a herd, fold, or wing.)
  • shelducks
    a dopping of shelducks
  • shrimps
    a troupe of shrimps
  • skunks
    a stench of skunks
  • skylarks
    an exultation of skylarks
  • sloths
    a slumber of sloths
  • slugs
    a cornucopia of slugs
  • snails
    a rout of snails
  • a den of snakes
  • snipe
    a whisper of snipe
    (A group of snipe is also called a walk or wisp.)
  • a host of sparrows
    (A group of sparrows is also called a host or ubiquity.)
  • a cluster of spiders
  • a scurry of squirrels
    (A group of squirrels is also called a dray (a nest).)
  • starfish
    a galaxy of starfish
  • a murmuration of starlings
  • sticklebacks
    a spread of sticklebacks
  • stingrays
    a fever of stingrays
  • stoats
    a pack of stoats
  • storks
    a muster of storks
  • swallows
    a flight of swallows
  • a bevy of swans
    (A group of swans is also called a bank or wedge (in V formation in flight).)
  • swifts
    a flock of swifts
  • swine
    a drift of swine
    (A group of swine is also called a sounder (wild swine), or trip(tame swine).)
  • swordfish
    a flotilla of swordfish
  • T

  • tapirs
    a candle of tapirs
  • termites
    a colony of termites
  • terriers
    a terror of terriers
  • thrushes
    a mutation of thrushes
  • a streak of tigers
  • a knot of toads
  • a creep of tortoises
  • a durante of toucans
  • trout
    a hover of trout
  • a rafter of turkeys
    (A group of turkeys is also called a raffle.)
  • turtle doves
    a pitying of turtle doves
    (A group of turtle doves is also called a dole.)
  • a bale of turtles
  • U

  • unicorns
    a blessing of unicorns
  • V

  • a nest of vipers
  • a colony of voles
  • a wake of vultures
  • W

  • wallabies
    a mob of wallabies
  • walruses
    a herd of walruses
  • warthogs
    a sounder of warthogs
  • a swarm of wasps
    (A group of wasps is also called a nest.)
  • waterfowl
    a knob of waterfowl
    (The term knob refers to a group of less than 30 waterfowl. A group of waterfowl is also called a raft (on water) or bunch.)
  • weasels
    a sneak of weasels
  • a pod of whales
    (A group of whales is also called a school, plump, herd, or gam.)
  • widgeon
    a company of widgeon
    (A group of widgeon is also called a coil.)
  • wild boars
    a sounder of boars
  • wild horses
    a herd of wild horses
  • wildcats
    a destruction of wildcats
  • willows
    a bend of willows
  • a pack of wolves
    (A group of wolves is also called a rout.)
  • wombats
    a mob of wombats
  • woodcocks
    a fall of woodcocks
  • a descension of woodpeckers
    (A group of woodpeckers is also called a descent.)
  • a clew of worms
  • a herd of wrens
  • Y

  • yaks
    a herd of yaks
    (A group of yaks is also called a cabinet.)
  • yellowhammers
    a flock of yellowhammers
  • Z

  • a herd of zebras
    (A group of zebras is also listed as a dazzle, but this is a fanciful word, i.e., clearly made up and not a recognized collective noun for zebras.)

Infographic for Collective Nouns

This is a list of collective nouns for animals, but don't forget that there are also collective nouns for people and things.
list of collective nouns
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