There are a large number of different collective nouns that have been assigned to groups of pigeons over the years.
- A Band
- A Dropping
- A Flight
- A Flock
- A Kit
- A Loft
- A Passel
- A Plague
- A School
Whilst some of these terms seem very self-explanatory, such as flight or flock, for example, others are more of a mystery for modern researchers.
Whilst those nouns seem to be linked to the physical actions of the pigeon, others like ‘plague’ could be more indicative of the attitude that previous (and arguably current) society held about pigeons being considered dirty, a public nuisance or pest.
Others like school will, one assumes, be linked to the fact that pigeons can tend to be seen both flying and on the ground in large groups.
In this sense, a school of pigeons is akin to a school of fish that are large and plentiful in number.
Though unconfirmed, a dropping of pigeons could well allude to the pigeon guano that is often left in the aftermath of a large gathering of the birds in any given space.
It isn’t unusual for a bird to have more than one collective noun.
For example, a group of geese on the ground are known as a gaggle, but once they take to the air they are known as a skein, team, or wedge.
And doves – the pigeon’s closest relative – when in a group might be a bevvy, dole, flight, piteousness or a pitying.