Collective Nouns

We use many different “collective nouns” to talk about groups of animals, birds or insects.

Here’s a list of ten common collective nouns. You can often use these with more than one animal, but often the animals share certain characteristics.

Collective Nouns – Animals, Birds & Insects

herd
Use this with many animals that eat grass.
A herd of elephants, cows, goats or buffalo.

flock
Use this when you have many animals in the group.
A flock of sheep, or birds (pigeons, seagulls, etc).

pack
Use this with wild animals that hunt together.
A pack of dogs, or wolves.

litter
Use this with young animals that are born together.
A litter of puppies, cubs or kittens.

swarm
Use this with insects that fly together
A swarm of bees, flies or locusts. (Also “a plague of locusts”)

colony
Use this with animals and insects that live together.
A colony of bats, rats or ants.

school
Use this with fish that swim together.
A school of fish or whales.

troop
Use this with animals (often apes) which live together in family groups.
A troop of monkeys.

pride
Use this for lions (a pride of lions).

And my favourite (you can see this in autumn)…

Collective Nouns
Photo by Rhys Kentish on Unsplash

A murmuration of starlings. You get this when a flock of birds flies together almost in a swarm. They’re preparing to migrate for winter.


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