A banditry of titmice

watch the video and feel free to skip the words

After following starlings for months, Irish photographer James Crombie captured an incredible murmuration in the shape of a huge bird. The pictures are pretty amazing too but I’ve been especially mesmerized by this video for the past two days. Probably because of the persistence and skill involved but also because everything feels extra imbued with meaning in the pandemic, you know? We need the vaccine.

The video also sent me down a very satisfying rabbit hole looking up collective nouns for birds. I cannot recommend enough Chloe Rhodes’ book, An Unkindness of Ravens: A Book of Collective Nouns if you are curious about their origins.

Some gems below:

  • A confusion of chiffchaffs

  • A wake of buzzards

  • A scold of jays

  • An exultation of skylarks

  • A commotion of coots

  • A murder of crows

  • A swatting of flycatchers

  • A prayer of godwits

  • A crown of kingfishers

  • A parcel of linnets

  • A cast of merlins

  • A chattering of choughs

  • An asylum of cuckoos

  • A curfew of curlews

  • A trembling of finches

  • A conspiracy of ravens

  • A worm of robins

  • A parliament of rooks

  • A wisp of snipe

  • A kettle of swallows

  • An invisibleness of ptarmigans

  • A committee of terns

  • A descent of woodpeckers

  • A pitying of turtledoves

  • A banditry of titmice

  • A circlage of house martins

  • A murmuration of starlings

  • A hermitage of thrushes

  • A volery of wagtails

  • A museum of waxwings

  • A chime of wrens

  • An orchestra of avocets

  • A mural of buntings

  • A water dance of grebes

  • A charm of goldfinches

  • A fall of woodcock

  • A deceit of lapwings

  • A booby of nuthatches

  • A quilt of eiders

  • A mischief of magpies

  • An aerie of eagles

  • A wisdom of owls

  • A quarrel of sparrows

I too am confusion of chiffchaffs. See you Saturday.