One thing I’ve always enjoyed learning about is all the different names we’ve come up with for all the creatures in the animal kingdom. Males and females get different names, of course, as do the babies most of the time.
And, my favorite, so much of the time we also come up with a typically clever name for a group of animals. Whether it is a pack of dogs, a school of fish or a murder of crows it is fun to learn all of these various terms.
Coming back a little closer to home or rather homestead, what is a group of ducks called properly?
A group of ducks is generically called a flock but is more properly referred to as a skein if airborne, or a raft if on the surface of the water. A group of ducks on the ground may be referred to as a waddling, although this is not common.
And now you know, so if you want to impress your animal savvy and a nature loving friends you can refer to a group of ducks by the correct term in the correct context.
Sure, flock is functional but it’s also boring because it can apply to any group of birds! Anyway, my musings aside, keep reading and I’ll tell you a lot more about the naming conventions of ducks.
Isn’t a Group of Ducks Just a Flock?
Yes, you can call a group of ducks a flock and everyone will know what you are talking about. This is the term that is most commonly referred to in a classroom and casual settings alike in most places, even if it is not 100% entirely correct.
The vast majority of birds in the world, when group together, are referred to as flocks. And, of course, so are sheep but that’s getting off-topic.
So is Flock Acceptable or Not?
Yes, broadly speaking. You’ll rarely be challenged on this issue unless you’re dealing with serious bird lovers, scientists, or the most pedantic professional settings.
That being said, part of the fun when it comes to learning about nature and language is found in the nuances, and that’s where the interesting terms are for our purposes.
What is a Group of Grounded Ducks Called?
A group of grounded ducks is referred to as a waddling, or sometimes and rarely by an old and archaic term called a badling, sometimes spelled badelying.
Waddling is one of those clever terms I alluded to up above: a group of grounded ducks is called a waddling because that is how they are forced to move around on the ground.
Those large, webbed feet give them a bobbing and rocking side-to-side gate that is, of course, properly called a waddle!
What’s a Group of Airborne Ducks Called?
A group of airborne ducks is typically called a flock but may also be referred to as a skein. Definitely a peculiar term, but one that’s hardly unknown in the bird world. An airborne flock of geese is also referred to as a skein.
How did they come by that name? I’m not quite sure to tell you the truth, because a skein is that vaguely oblong or conical coil of yarn you sometimes see when someone is sitting down getting ready to knit or sew.
I don’t really see the resemblance to a flock of ducks in flight, but maybe it is because the ducks themselves tend to bunch up even when they are airborne.
Also, a group of airborne ducks is sometimes referred to as a team. That’s a term that is easy enough to understand, and ducks are definitely all on the same team when they are trying to survive out in the wild (although they don’t always get along).
What’s a Group of Swimming Ducks Called?
A group of swimming ducks gets its own special name, and they are properly called a raft, though you’ll sometimes see the term paddling used as well.
Both terms are easy enough to deduce: ducks invariably stick close to each other when on the surface, be it the water or the ground, and so a big group of ducks bobbing on the water looks sort of like a raft.
Similarly, ducks propel themselves through the water by paddling with those big webbed feet, and hence you might call a group of ducks on the water a paddling.
Does the Name for a Group of Ducks Change Depending on How Many are Present?
No. Any group of ducks, starting at 3 or more, is properly referred to by any of the terms above contextually.
You might have a handful of ducks in a backyard flock or a massive conglomeration of ducks numbering in the hundreds. It’s all the same!
There Have Been Many Different Names for a Group of Ducks Over the Ages
There have been a truly tremendous number of terms used to describe groups and gatherings of ducks over the years.
Some of these terms were used in a literary sense or even poetically, while others are previously used terms that were once official or semi-official, but fell out of common parlance and usage.
For instance, ducks have been referred to as battlings, braces and beds. Certain species of ducks have been referred to as coils, daggles or divings.
They’ve even been called safes, sorts and suits. And, referring to ducks that fly in a loose formation like sheep do, a wedge.
There are many more besides, but unless you want to truly impress your friends that are thrilled with nearly useless trivia I don’t recommend that you set off and try to learn them all.
What is a Group of Male Ducks Called?
Believe it or not, a males-only group of ducks has its own special term: brace.
What is a Group of Female Ducks Called?
Female-only groups of ducks also have their own special naming terminology: sisterhood.
What is a Group of Baby Ducks Called?
A group of baby ducks is properly called a brood, although the term flock still applies regardless of how many males and females are in the group.
What is a Group of Duck Eggs Called?
A group of duck eggs is called a clutch. This is a term that is actually appropriate for any group of eggs laid by any animal, bird or otherwise.
Are Ducks Always in Groups?
No, not always. Although ducks have a strong flocking instinct and feel safest and most secure in a group, as with most prey species, ducks don’t always stick together.
During the height of mating season, males will jealously guard their chosen female and paired couples will typically separate for nesting.
The males don’t always stick around through the hatching of the eggs, but during this time it is rare to see ducks in big flocks one way or the other.
So, during such a time, none of the terms you learned above will apply – at least until the ducklings hatch!
What is a Pair of Ducks Called?
Nothing fancy here: a pair of ducks, mated or not, is it simply referred to as a pair, or sometimes as a duo.
Tom has built and remodeled homes, generated his own electricity, grown his own food and more, all in quest of remaining as independent of society as possible. Now he shares his experiences and hard-earned lessons with readers around the country.