collective noun for penguins

To: David Wilson <>
Subject: collective noun for penguins
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2008 04:59:15 -0700

Dave-  Merideth Hooper wrote on p. in the introduction to her book The Ferocious Summer:  "I use American terminology when describing the spaces where penguins nest, because at Palmer Station on the Antarctic Peninsula I worked with American scientists.  So "colony" is a discrete collection of breeding groups with discrete boundaries; "rookery" means the complete collection of colonies.  For UK scientists the whole area is a colony, and the collections of breeding groups with discrete boundaries are nest groups."  I realize this does not answer your question directly, but it suggests that there may be a regional difference among scientists when using terminology.   -TATE

Jim Tate
2031 Huidekoper Pl NW
Washington, DC 20007
202 841-2056
Re: [Birding-Aus] collective noun for breeding penguins [Sec=Unclassified]
Carl Clifford <>
Wed, Apr 09, 2008 10:15 pm
David Wilson <>

The Bird Almanac gives the term "colony" for an assemblage of
Penguins (likewise for Gulls) Others I have seen used are: Formality,
Parade, Raft (when in water) and Waddle (when on land). I would go
for Colony.

Carl Clifford

On 10/04/2008, at 10:42 AM, David Wilson wrote: While at Mawson station (Antarctica) over the summer researching Adelie penguins we were puzzled by a lack of consistency in naming penguin groups.  The terms colony and rookery seemed to be fairly interchangeable when referring to a breeding group of penguins. This seemed all a little esoteric until the people in charge of the Antarctic Gazette contacted
us to formalise the names of some of the Emperor and Adelie breeding
sites.  If anyone can shed any light on this problem it would be much
appreciated, or provide some historical background.

David Wilson, Field Biologist
ph 03 62323322
Australian Antarctic Division
Department of the Environment and Water Resources
203 Channel Highway
Kingston, Tasmania, Australia 7050

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