Many—hundreds? thousands?—of animals have collective nouns to identify a bunch of those animals—e.g., a pride of lions, a pod of dolphins.
I used to have a book of such collective nouns titled An Exaltation of Larks. Probably I still have it somewhere, but I can’t find it. So over the weekend, when I wanted to find collective nouns for the birds visiting my backyard, I went online.
But bluebirds? Zip, zero, nada. No generally agreed upon collective for bluebirds. Perhaps that’s because they generally hang out in pairs and congregate only when migrating.
I love my new bird feeders, set up after my birthday. Whether it’s the configuration or the the addition of a suet cage, we’ve never had so many different birds visible from the kitchen window. And I found lots of collective nouns online. In fact, some birds have multiple collective nouns that are generally recognized. So my husband and I decided to just go with the label we liked best. For example, a murder of crows.
We also have a clutter of starlings (I rather like their bright orange beaks) and a scold of blue jays. Then there is the plague of grackles, beautifully iridescent.
Sometimes we are graced by an echo of mockingbirds, or a drumming of woodpeckers.
We have a ubiquity of sparrows, though they were camera shy. The drum of goldfinches not so much so.
I still hope to catch on camera a mewing of catbirds and a dule of doves. But I did catch a member of the college of cardinals—a young one.
Our banditry of titmice swarm the feeder—except when I was taking pictures today! But, surprisingly, I got our bobbin of robins perched on the feeder, even though they are ground feeders.
Later in the year, I expect the return of our hover of hummingbirds. For the time being, I am content with our charm of finches—mostly house finches.
And our chime of wrens.
Yes, I love our dissimulation of chickadees. What’s not to love?
But what about the ignored bluebirds? I found one place on line that, while acknowledging that there was no accepted collective noun for them, suggested a sky of bluebirds, or a beatitude of bluebirds, saying throw some options out there and see what sticks. So I’m suggesting a blessing of bluebirds.
What do you suggest?
I love blessing of blue birds
A flock of blue birds are named after a name for a bunch of soldiers
A group of thrushes, including bluebirds are called a hermitage
Darn. They are so social!
Dear Corinna: That’s an easy one. “A Dover of bluebirds”…as in “There’ll be bluebirds over the White Cliffs of Dover”. Truth is there aren’t any blue birds in England. The lyracist didn’t know that, but the song lasted through WW II and well beyond it. Check out Vera Lynn singing it. She also lasted well beyond WWII, and it’s something I play for my ornthology course.
What a fun post! thank you for sharing. I came to the interwebs to indeed find a name for my soon-to-be bluebirds ( Second batch of the season!), currently eggs in the nest in their house in our Elm tree.
Lucky you! Bluebirds are favorites of mine.
Considering the movie with Sherly Temple, it might be fun to see “a happiness of Bluebirds”. Great article and thanks for posting it.
I saw a migrating group in my garden today and thought the collective noun might be a beauty of bluebirds.
Nice post. I’m going to take your suggestion and use “blessing of bluebirds”.
Pretty sure it’s a hermitage of bluebirds.
Perhaps a “blush of bluebirds” as both genders have a coral/rosy hued breast….and it’s alliterative! Whatever we call them, they are always a delight… have a breeding pair nesting now in north central Florida.