What Do You Call a Group of Doves?

The US Geological Survey says that a group of doves is called a dule and that a group of turtle doves is called a pitying. These collective nouns are used to talk about groups of doves or turtle doves. Other words, like “group” or “flock,” can also be used to talk about three or more doves.

A collective noun is a single word that describes a group of two or more animals. Some of the collective nouns that are used to talk about a group of animals can seem ironic or funny. Turtle doves are a sign of peace and innocence, so it’s funny that “pity” is the root word for their group noun.

Another example of this is the word “murder” for a group of crows or “intrusion” for a group of cockroaches. As all-black birds that eat dead animals, crows do remind us of death, and most people don’t like seeing groups of roaches in their homes, so these collective nouns are accurate in more than one way.

There are some general group nouns that can be used to talk about any kind of bird. For example, a flight is a group of birds in the air, and a volary is a group of birds on the ground. You can use these words to talk about groups of doves instead of dule or pitying.

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.

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