Bird word: Gregarious
- Gregarious: some birds live in groups and are said to be gregarious. One such species is the White-Winged Chough. They are usually seen in groups of from 5 to 10, though the family group that visits my garden has been up to 12 in size. I have seen larger groups than that in other places.
There is some truth in the saying “birds of a feather flock together.” In Australia it is quite common to see large flocks of birds of the one species. There are few sights as beautiful as a flock of several hundred pink Galahs wheeling through the deep blue Australian sky. Corellas and cockatoos also flock together, feeding together on the ground in large groups numbering in the hundreds, or even thousands.
Another amazing sight is to see a large flock of budgerigars feeding together. As they fly off – sometimes in their thousands – it is like a swiftly moving green cloud before your eyes. When such a flock lands in a dead tree, it suddenly seems to spring back to life once again.
Some of our finches are also quite gregarious. These flocks may only number in the dozens but in their own small way can be just as spectacular. They bring great delight to the observer when such groups visit a watering point (such as a bird bath) or a feeding tray in a park or someone’s garden.
Waterbirds can also be said to be gregarious, their numbers can often be in the thousands. Rafts of ducks, mudflats seething with waders and nesting cormorants in their thousands can be an inspiring sight and an attack on the ears (and nose in the case of cormorants).