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A Murmuration of Starlings!

Added: 14 Jun 2023

Author: One Stop Trivia

Collective nouns are a fairly common source of questions for trivia events, and if you Google them, you will find lots of them listed on plenty of websites. This issues start when you look at a couple of different sites and end up finding lots of different names for the animal you want to ask about.

Also, a lot of these collective names are not really used in scientific terms for the animals, let alone in everyday use. You will find a lot have been 'made up' over the years to suit an alliterative or onomatopoeic tendency towards group names, and have then been shared online, and then repeated as fact, until it can sometimes be hard to know what is correct.

So, while I don't say to not use these questions, make sure the answer you have is referenced in a few different places that you trust. Also, while many people know the common ones - pride of lions, murder of crows, etc - a lot of people will not have any idea about more esoteric ones - a galaxy of sea stars anyone? 

My advice in these kind of questions would be to use them sparingly, and if you are using a lesser known collective noun, then you may want to set it as a multiple choice type question i.e. What is the collective name for a group of moths? A) Surfeit B) Colony C) Eclipse or D) Soar

Below is a table with some of the collective nouns I have come to trust and use (although it is not an exhaustive list by any means):

Animal Collective Nouns
ants colony
apes shrewdness
bats colony
bears sleuth, sloth
bees swarm
butterflies kaleidoscope
camels caravan
cats clowder
crow murder
dogs pack
donkeys drove
eagles convocation
elephants parade
falcons Kettle
fish school, shoal
flamingos flamboyance
foxes skulk 
frogs army
geese gaggle
giraffes tower
gorillas troop
hornets nest
jellyfish smack
ladybugs loveliness
lemurs conspiracy
leopards leap, prowl
lions pride
moles labor
monkeys troop, barrel
mosquitoes scourge
moths eclipse
owls parliament
porcupines prickle
rabbits colony
ravens unkindness
rhinoceroses crash
sharks frenzy
skunks surfeit
squirrels scurry, dray
starlings murmuration
tigers ambush
toads knot
whales pod
wolves pack
zebras dazzle