A Kettle of Hawks

February 2, 2019

Today’s adventure took us to the Boyd Hill Nature Preserve Raptor Fest which we thought would be a really fun activity, but didn’t even consider the possibility that hoards of other people might also think it would be a fun activity on a sunny Saturday afternoon in Florida! Not exactly what we had in mind.

So, we attended half of a raptor presentation, looked at some of the raptors in cages, on perches, or being held by their caretakers, and then headed out to the trails where it was much quieter and calmer and less ‘peopled’.

Great Horned Owl

I particularly enjoyed getting off the trail altogether and slipping into the woods a bit where it was even quieter—only the birds were chatting. In one area where I had wandered, there were dozens of robins flying in and out among the trees, feasting on berries when they could, and taking baths together in the swamp. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many robins gathered in one place like they were today, which got me thinking ‘what does one call a group of robins?’.

“Even though Robins are notoriously anti-social, they do occasionally come together… prompting the search for a collective noun. Of the 241 suggested nouns received, ‘ROUND’ was the most popular, with ‘Breast’ a close second.”

Bath time in the swamp!

Although a ‘round of robins’ and a ‘breast of robins’ were reportedly more popular than some of the other choices, I liked the other choices better: a bobbin of robins, a squabble of robins, and a rabble of robins—much more fun, I thought!  And, since we were at a ‘raptor fest’, I went off on another tangent wondering what a group of raptors would be called.

“Raptors and birds of prey also have unusual group names. Many people have heard the term “a kettle of Hawks”, but how many people know what a group of Eagles is called? A group of Eagles is called a “convocation.” Owls may have one of the most unusual group names and they are called a ‘parliament.'”

We also saw a couple of alligators today, which lead me to the next question, ‘What do you call a group of alligators’? Surprisingly, a group of alligators is called congregation. A congregation?? What is it about the word ‘congregation’ that made someone think of a group of alligators?

Alligator napping

Any thoughts?

Osprey on the hunt (Mel’s shot)

6 thoughts on “A Kettle of Hawks

  1. Maybe we don’t know what these groups are called because we never have the luxury of seeing groups of anything anymore! A convocation of eagles would be so cool to see! I get excited when I see one!

  2. I think a congragation of alagators is very apt, as if you came across them you’d be praying very hard that they weren’t going to eat you! I would call them a kackload of alagators… 😁

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