Posts Tagged ‘delirium’

I took a walk on Lakeside Drive today and saw scores (hundreds?) of swallows swooping and wheeling like berserk bats toward the lake, upside down over the road, then sideways and shuddering back toward the lake again in a group dance with no obvious explanation.

When I went online and Googled “swallows going berserk,” I found an Audubon blog post in New Hampshire that used that exact phrase. But the authorĀ  thought the swallows were just feeding and happy to see spring arrive.

I have decided that the collective noun for swallow should be “delirium,” as in “a delirium of swallows.”

Are you into collective nouns for birds and animals? They can be a lot of fun, with terms going back hundreds of years. Find your favorites at Wikipedia, here. A congregation of alligators, a rabble of bees, a coalition of cheetah, a gulp of cormorants, a consortium of crabs, a murder of crows — and I am only in the c’s!

Be sure to use “a delirium of swallows” as your next opportunity and appear to know something esoteric that no one else knows.

Video: John Downer Productions

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