In a prior column, I shared with you a list of playful terms for groups of birds such as a "charm of goldfinches" or a "murder of crows." One of the birding listserves also had some lists of "fun" descriptions for birds. I thought that I would share some of my favorites with you again today:

A hood of robins

A litter of catbirds

A ridicule of mockingbirds

A nebula of starlings

An alphabet of jays

A maniac of ravens

A garage sale of juncos

A w.c. fielding of chickadees

A frankincense of murres

A suite of bitterns

An album of rock wrens

An outfield of flycatchers

A tankful of petrels

A Ulysses of brant

An 8x10 of glossy ibis

A shishkebab of skuas

A coronation of emperor geese

A drift of snow geese

A timber of wood ducks

A wave of surf scoters

A brass of horned grebes

A triangle of bermuda petrels

A tart of American bitterns

An illusion of merlins

An hilarity of laughing gulls

An applause of clapper rails

A dune of sandhill cranes

A haze of purple sandpipers

A ladle of spoonbills

A mint of Franklin's gulls

A glimmer of northern flickers

An oxymoron of greater pewees

tickle of ivory gulls

A dagwood of sandwich terns

A workshop of elf owls

A pilot of palm warblers

A range of ovenbirds

A tinkling of Bell's vireos

A hangover of red-eyed vireos

A derby of Kentucky warblers

A fifth of wild turkeys

A tanning of bronzed cowbirds

A lamentation of mourning warblers

A lettering of scarlet tanagers

An oxidation of rusty blackbirds

A chain of bobolinks

A paddling of red-tails.

And last but not least: an asylum of common loons

• • •

Steve Grinley is the owner of Bird Watcher's Supply and Gift at the Route 1 traffic circle in Newburyport and the Nature Shop at Joppa Flats.

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