About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Have you ever heard of a wedge of geese?

A Canada Goose flying at Burnaby Lake Regional...Image via WikipediaA wedge of cheese? No you read that right, a wedge of geese.

A large number of Canada Geese just flew very low over the store. Besides hearing the loud honking I was also amazed as an enormous V-shaped shadow moved across the Wild Birds Unlimited - East Lansing parking lot. Did you know that a flock of flying geese is called a “wedge” of geese and a “gaggle” of geese when they are in the water?

A lot of bird flocks have specific group names. Why the need to name flocks of birds anything besides “flock”? I suppose because it was fun for bird watchers to observe birds and come up with a descriptive name for each species. For instance, a group of owls seem to look smart with their large round eyes like they are wearing spectacles and are therefore called a "wisdom" of owls. And nuthatches gather nuts and seeds, jam them into tree bark and so their group is collectively known as a "jar" of nuthatches.

So what are some other collective nouns for our backyard birds?
• A "Vatican" of cardinals
• A "blight" or "subdivision" of sparrows
• A "flight" of doves
• A "party" or "scold" of jays
• A "charm" of goldfinches
• A "banditry" of chickadees
• A "descent" or "drumming" of woodpeckers
• A “murder” or "cauldron" of crows
• A "worm" of robins
• A "constellation", "murmuration", or "vulgarity" of starlings

Related Articles:
- Why do geese fly in a V formation? http://goo.gl/IOzGHP
- Nature up Close: A look at different bird beaks http://goo.gl/v5RojO
- Cardinal Gathering http://goo.gl/pgpAQY
- Bird Guilds: How different birds band together to survive http://goo.gl/LrY3ML

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