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Looking up online, I realized there are quite a few different words for groups of birds. For pigeons, a group would be a flock or a flight, while for falcons you would have a cast of falcons.

But, what about nouns that give some information on the number of birds? Is there, for instance, a word signifying a small group of pigeons? Or just a small group of birds.

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  • The only generalized terms I have heard used are flock and voley, only to describe a group of birds
    – Hank
    Dec 13, 2016 at 21:02
  • Assuming your own search turned up no such specific word, you might want to use a word synonymous for "small group" or "few" to convey, in a singular word, the concept of a small group, then add "birds" or "pigeons". Dec 13, 2016 at 21:02
  • Flock is used not only for birds but sheep and goats too.
    – haha
    Dec 13, 2016 at 21:12
  • Obviously, a twitter of birds.
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 13, 2016 at 21:42
  • Possible useful reference: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    – cobaltduck
    Dec 13, 2016 at 21:43

3 Answers 3

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The word I would use is covey. As the following citation shows, covey can be used as a word for a small group of birds: Oxford Living Dictionaries

a small flock of birds, especially partridge.

The same source gives many example sentences using coveys, meaning small flocks of birds, of which the following is one:

...both species form coveys, which are flocks of 4-6 fused family groups.

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  • That only works for grouse, partridges, and quail.
    – Robusto
    Dec 13, 2016 at 21:17
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    @Robusto -- I am new to SE -- and I still don't get anonymous downvotes. They do nothing constructive. Criticism works best with an explanation, imo.
    – WRX
    Dec 13, 2016 at 21:38
  • 2
    @Mari-Lou A I think for the reason you gave is great! This why I think that the downvote should have been explained. Many of us are new here and we need to learn how to work within this community.
    – WRX
    Dec 13, 2016 at 22:47
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    @Airymouse, not sure if I am supposed to answer you. Thanks, I knew my suggestions had nothing to do with birds. I was wondering if OP would consider a different word set. I will try to remain strictly on topic until I understand this SE better.
    – WRX
    Dec 14, 2016 at 1:10
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    Not going to downvote because I think the answer is spot-on and can easily be brought up to the standards of the site, but I'll withhold my upvote until it's got a definition added in (preferably with a decent dictionary source link and usage example, but don't strain yourself!).
    – pyobum
    Dec 14, 2016 at 1:10
2

Somewhat whimsically, you could use the names of various subdivision of a military air force. According to Wikipedia, for the U.S. Air Force, these subdivisions are:

  • Detail (2-4)
  • Element or Section (5-20)
  • Flight (20-100)
  • Squadron (100-300)
  • Group (300-1,000)
  • Wing (1,000–5000)
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  • 2
    Flight is also used for birds, and not whimsically.
    – Robusto
    Dec 13, 2016 at 21:17
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    You could, but ELU is about accepted usage rather than DIY and confusing terminology. Dec 13, 2016 at 23:39
  • I found somewhere "flight" being used for groups of pigeons. I just didn't know how large a flight was Dec 16, 2016 at 20:28
0

How about a smattering of pigeons or a sprinkle? These are synonyms of 'small number'.

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