What is a Group of Hawks Called?

Posted on: 5 March 2021

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What is a Group of Hawks Called?

Birds classified as hawks are usually only seen on their own or in a pair, but what is a group of hawks called? Collective nouns are rather bizarre and sometimes even humourous names given to a group of animals. A large proportion of these terms go all the way back to the Late Middle Ages and still have a place in society to this day. Read on to discover the terms that are used for a group of hawks.

What are a group of hawks called?

The most common terms for a group of hawks is a kettle, a boil or a cast.

It's believed that the term kettle originated from flocks of hawks looking like soup boiling in a pot, cauldron or kettle, because of the bowl-like shape of thermal currents utilised by these birds whilst soaring. The pattern of their flight is comparable to steam rising from a kettle.

Depending on where in the world you are from, you may hear different terms. Some of these terms are much less common than others and most of these terms can apply to birds of prey:

  • an aerie of hawks
  • a boil of hawks
  • a brace of hawks
  • a brood of hawks
  • a cast of hawks
  • a couple of hawks
  • an eyass of hawks
  • an eyrie of hawks
  • an eyry of hawks
  • a flight of hawks
  • a kettle of hawks
  • a knot of hawks
  • a lease of hawks
  • a leash of hawks
  • a mews of hawks
  • a moulting of hawks
  • a nest of hawks
  • a pair of hawks
  • a stooping of hawks
  • a schizophrenia of hawks
  • a screw of hawks
  • a soar of hawks
  • a souse of hawks
  • a spiraling of hawks
  • a stream of hawks
  • a swarm of hawks
  • a swooping of hawks
  • a tower of hawks

When can you see hawks in a kettle?

As hawks are generally solitary birds or seen in a pair, it may leave you wondering when you can see these birds in a group. The answer to that is during migration, where hundreds and sometimes even thousands of birds can be seen together.

This is because many birds will share the same route during migration, as it allows them to share thermals and wind currents to assist with their flight. Again, this isn't just hawks that do this. It's a thing that birds of prey do as well.

Although this looks like the birds are working together, they are in fact still working independently. The only form of cooperation is to share the airspace and not be aggressive toward one another.

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