A Parsnip of Pigeons

Amaze…. “Sense of “overwhelm with wonder” is from 1590s” (Thesaurus.com)

As I walked out my back door one early morn’

I was amazed by what I saw

An exaltation of larks

A tittering of magpies

A band of blue jays

A cacophony of crows

A convocation of eagles

A charm of hummingbirds

A kettle of hawks

A gulp of swallows

A parsnip of pigeons

An ostentation of peacocks

A parliament of owls

A pandemonium of parrots

And a flamboyance of flamingoes

I thought to myself

What was in that wild bird seed I bought?


*If you’re wondering about a parsnip of pigeons, I made it up.  🙂


This post is for Stream of Consciousness Saturday hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt today is use a two letter word at the beginning and a bonus for using a two letter word at the end. Featured image: Brehms Teirleben Cockatiels painting via Wikimedia. And the collective nouns are inspired by James Lipton’s book ” An Exaltation of Larks,” which referenced ‘terms of venery’ from the Middle Ages. And that is where many of these collective nouns originated, the middle ages. Some could be recent inventions but I am not aware of the sources to credit other than a list on wikipedia 🙂

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21 thoughts on “A Parsnip of Pigeons

      1. John Holton

        I guess. We have lots of crows here, and they’re a lot of fun to watch and listen to. Clever birds… might be my favorites. We also get cardinals, blue jays, brown thrashers (the state bird), a few hawks that live way up in the pines, mourning doves, and occasionally hummingbirds. We even saw a turkey buzzard eating some road kill once. I like birds…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Deborah Drucker Post author

        We have a lot of crows as well and they can create a cacophony. I am not sure who first coined the expression a cacophony of crows but I have heard it before and seen it in print. And I actually like it better than murder of crows. To me it fits better with the birds’ behavior. We have doves and hummingbirds in our yard. We see many yellow tail hawks flying high. We have blue jays but not in our yard, more in the wilder areas nearby. I don’t think we get cardinals or brown thrashers. Our state bird is the California Quail which we see out in the wilder areas as well. Thanks, John. 🙂


      3. Deborah Drucker Post author

        Yes. They are called collective nouns and I was inspired by the book “An Exaltation of Larks” by James Lipton. He researched all these collective nouns from olden times English. 🙂


    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      Thank You very much. Well the parsnip of pigeons is my creation but I can not take credit for the others. These expressions are called collective nouns and I was inspired by the book by James Lipton, “An Exaltation of Larks.” He found all these expressions in terms of venery and made some up himself. Terms of venery are from the late Middle Ages. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  1. ghostmmnc

    Very interesting how they come up with the words to describe a group of animals. The Middle Ages…I always wonder who was the first to come up with a new word, that everyone agrees is a good word and definition for it. Maybe we should all use your Parsnip of Pigeons, because it’s a fun word! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      Yes these descriptions are fun and I do not know the history in depth. I think some have been made up in more recent times. Thank You for your vote for Parsnip of Pigeons. It was fun to think it up and a bit of humor too. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. wendyj59

    Nice piece and I’m glad you explained about Parsnip of Pigeons. Did your book give a collective for pigeons? There are various suggestions online including loft, kit and passel!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      Thank You. I do not have a copy of the book right now. It has been in publication for several years. I like a passel of pigeons but I am still fond of a parsnip. Thanks, Wendy. 🙂


    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      I know these collective nouns are fun, but I can’t take credit for them because they come from other sources. I did some quick research online. I knew about “an exaltation of larks” from James Lipton’s book. He researched these terms of venery from the middle ages and that is where most of these terms come from and then people have added to them in recent years. I found these on the internet, (wikipedia and other places I came across). I like being zany and playful with words though, and my parsnip of pigeons is the result of that. 🙂 Thanks, Clee. 🙂




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