A large flock of flamingos in the water

26 Birds That Flock Together: Delight in the Diversity!

Welcome to our guide on 26 Birds That Flock Together! From the majestic pelican to the tiny siskin, discover the fascinating world of social behavior among our feathered friends.

With stunning photos and insightful information, this guide will delight both birdwatching enthusiasts and curious nature lovers.

Why Birds Flock: An In-Depth Exploration

Birds are fascinating creatures, and one of their most intriguing behaviors is their tendency to flock together. Flocking behavior can be observed in birds of all shapes and sizes, from tiny hummingbirds to giant pelicans. But why do they do it? In this article, we’ll explore the various reasons why birds flock and the science behind this behavior.

Protection and Safety

One of the most important reasons why birds flock is for protection and safety. By grouping together, birds can reduce their individual risk of predation. Predators are less likely to target a group of birds than a single bird, as it is harder to catch and take down multiple targets. Additionally, birds that flock together can alert each other to potential dangers, increasing the overall safety of the group.

Types of Flocks

Birds can form different types of flocks depending on the species and their environmental conditions. Some common types of flocks include:

  • Mixed-species flocks: This is when different species of birds flock together. This type of flocking is often seen in forested areas, where multiple bird species forage in the same area. Mixed-species flocks can provide safety in numbers, as well as increased foraging opportunities.
  • Single-species flocks: As the name suggests, these flocks consist of only one species of bird. Single-species flocks are often seen during migration, when large groups of birds travel together for safety and navigation purposes.
  • Family groups: Some bird species form flocks consisting of related individuals, such as parent birds and their offspring. This type of flocking can provide protection for the young and help them learn important behaviors from their parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Birds also flock together for foraging and feeding purposes. When birds are searching for food, flocking can be beneficial in several ways. For one, birds in a group can cover a larger area, increasing the likelihood of finding food. Additionally, birds can learn from each other and share information about where to find food.

Feeding Strategies

Different bird species have different feeding strategies, and this can influence the way they flock for feeding purposes. Some examples of feeding strategies include:

  • Scavenging: Birds that scavenge for food, such as vultures and gulls, may flock together around a food source, such as a carcass.
  • Seed-eating: Birds that eat seeds, such as finches and sparrows, may flock together to feed on large patches of plants, such as sunflowers or thistle.
  • Insect-eating: Birds that eat insects, such as swallows and swifts, may flock together to catch insects on the wing.

Mating and Socialization

Finally, birds may also flock together for mating and socialization purposes. During the breeding season, some bird species form leks, which are groups of males that gather to attract females. These leks can consist of dozens or even hundreds of males, all displaying their brightest colors and most elaborate behaviors to attract a mate.


Birds may also flock together for socialization purposes. Some bird species are highly social, and they may form flocks to roost, preen, or engage in other social behaviors. For example, starlings are known for their impressive murmurations, in which thousands of birds flock together and fly in mesmerizing patterns.

Bird Migration and Social Behavior

Bird NameMigration BehaviorSocial Behavior
Common GrackleShort distanceFlocks in large groups
Brown-headed CowbirdMedium distanceFlocks in large groups
Western JackdawShort distanceFlocks in large groups
ShorebirdsLong distanceFlocks in large groups
FlamingosShort distanceFlocks in large groups
CranesLong distanceFlocks in small groups
EgretsShort distanceSolitary or small groups
StiltsShort distanceFlocks in small groups
PigeonsShort distanceFlocks in large groups
PelicansShort distanceFlocks in small groups
BlackbirdsMedium distanceFlocks in large groups
BluebirdsShort distanceSolitary or small groups
StarlingsShort distanceFlocks in large groups
American RobinsShort distanceFlocks in small groups
House FinchShort distanceFlocks in small groups
Common RedpollsLong distanceFlocks in small groups
Pine SiskinsMedium distanceFlocks in small groups
American GoldfinchesShort distanceFlocks in small groups
Red CrossbillIrregularFlocks in small groups
Cedar WaxwingsShort distanceFlocks in small groups
PipitsLong distanceFlocks in small groups
Yellow-rumped WarblerLong distanceSolitary or small groups
SparrowsShort distanceFlocks in small groups
LongspursLong distanceFlocks in small groups
Snow BuntingLong distanceFlocks in large groups
MeadowlarksShort distanceFlocks in small groups

Larger Birds That Flock Together

Common Grackles

Grackles are a type of blackbird that is found throughout much of North America. These birds are known for their intelligence and their ability to flock together. Grackles have been known to form large flocks that can number in the thousands. The birds use their intelligence to protect themselves from predators.

By forming large flocks, grackles can make it difficult for predators to single out any one bird for capture. The birds also use their intelligence to find food. By working together, the grackles can locate food sources that they would not be able to find on their own.

Brownheaded Cowbirds

A brown-headed cowbird perched on a fence.
Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash

The brown-headed cowbird is a medium-sized bird that can be found throughout North America. These birds are known for their flocking behavior, which is what has made them popular among bird enthusiasts.

Cowbirds live in colonies, and will often gather together in large groups. This communal behavior allows the birds to share food and protection from predators.

Western Jackdaws

A Western Jackdaw perched on a curb.
Image by Henri Ollikainen from Pixabay

Many animals live in close-knit groups, but few are as sociable as the jackdaws. These birds form tight-knit flocks that can number in the thousands, and they will work together to protect their territory and food sources.

This cooperative behavior is largely due to the fact that jackdaws are highly intelligent and able to communicate with each other using complex vocalizations.


Shorebirds, which are water birds that typically live near the shoreline, often form flocks for protection and to find food. Flocking together helps the birds stay safe from predators and allows them to search for food more efficiently.

In addition, many shorebird species are migratory, so they flock together during their migration in order to travel more efficiently.


A pink flamingo.
Image by cattymorrison from Pixabay

Flamingos are usually found in flocks of anywhere from 10 to 100 birds. They sometimes even form huge flocks that can number in the thousands! There are a few reasons why flamingos flock together. First, it helps them stay warm.

Second, it makes it easier for them to find food. And finally, it gives them a sense of security. When in danger, flamingos will often take flight as a group, making it more difficult for predators to pick off one or two birds.

Related Post: 25 Facts About Flamingos That Will Blow Your Mind!


A Sandhill Crane on some grass.
Photo by Pete Nuij on Unsplash

Cranes are considered some of the most social birds in the world. They mate for life, and stay together as a family unit year-round.

Cranes are also very territorial, and will defend their nesting area fiercely against other cranes and other animals. So it’s not surprising that cranes often flock together while they’re on the move.

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A little egret perched on a rock in the water.
Photo by Tony Garrett on Unsplash

Egrets are known to flock together in large groups, typically when they’re looking for food or during migration. This can be an impressive sight, with hundreds or even thousands of egrets flying together in formation.

One advantage is that they can more easily spot predators and potential threats. By forming a large group, they can also more easily find food and communicate with each other.

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Three black-winged stilts perched on a sunken object in the water.
Image by Bishnu Sarangi from Pixabay

Stilts are tall wading birds that typically live in wetlands, marshes, and other areas near water. While they can be found in a variety of habitats, stilts often flock together in small groups.

This behavior is most likely due to the fact that stilts need open areas to forage and run, and these areas are often scarce in their natural environment. Additionally, by grouping together, stilts can better protect themselves from predators.

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A pigeon.
Photo by Dawood Javed on Unsplash

When pigeons want to go somewhere, they don’t just fly off in any old direction. They flock together. This means that when a group of pigeons wants to travel somewhere, they all fly in the same direction as a unit.

Pigeons use this behavior to avoid becoming prey. When a group of pigeons is flying together, it is more difficult for predators to pick off an individual bird. This also makes it easier for the group to find food and shelter.

Related Post: Birds that look like Pigeons (Photos, ID & Stats)


A Great white pelican near the shore.
Image by Patty Jansen from Pixabay

Pelicans are sometimes thought to be solitary birds, but they can form colonies of thousands of birds. They do this because it helps them to survive. When pelicans flock together, they can better protect themselves from predators and can easier find food.

In fact, the group can even cooperate to trap fish in their bills. Pelicans are gregarious birds, and they do this to improve their chances of catching food. By working together, they can create a funnel that forces fish into a tight group, making them easier to catch.

Related Post: 17 Birds That Swim Underwater (with Photos, ID, & Info!)

Small Birds That Flock Together


A common blackbird foraging on the grass.
Photo by Niklas Hamann on Unsplash

When blackbirds congregate in the hundreds, they can form a spectacular sight. In the early morning or at dusk, these birds can be seen flying and perched in their trademark black and iridescent blue plumage.

Blackbirds are one of the most social bird species and can be found in flocks throughout the year. While they prefer to roost together at night, these flocks can also be seen foraging for food or migrating.


Bluebirds are not typically known to flock together, but there have been instances where they have been seen doing so. In the springtime, bluebirds will migrate north in large flocks. These flocks can contain hundreds or thousands of birds and can be quite impressive to see.

While on their migration, the birds will often stop at various food sources along the way, making for some great bird watching opportunities.

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Starlings and other species of birds often flock together to form murmurations. These flocks can contain anywhere from a few hundred birds to tens of thousands of birds. And while the reasons for murmurations are not entirely understood, scientists believe they may serve several purposes, such as deterring predators or helping the birds conserve energy.

So if you’re ever lucky enough to see a murmuration in person, be sure to take a moment and appreciate the beauty of these amazing creatures working together!

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American Robins

An American Robin foraging on the ground.
Photo by Trac Vu on Unsplash

One of the most widespread backyard birds in North America is the American robin. While they are not typically thought of as a bird that travels in large flocks, they sometimes do flock together. Robins usually flock together in the winter, when hundreds or thousands of them may come together to roost.

This can be helpful for them, as it can make them harder for predators to pick off individual birds. However, there can also be drawbacks to flocking together, as diseases can spread more easily among a large group of birds.

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House Finch

House finches are social animals and usually flock together. They form flocks to protect themselves from predators and to find food. The size of a house finch flock can range from just a few birds to several hundred.

Flocking helps house finches conserve energy by keeping warm and communicating with each other. House finches typically form flocks in the winter, but they will also flock together during the breeding season.

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Common Redpolls

A Common Redpoll feeding on seeds.
Image by Jason Gillman from Pixabay

Common Redpolls are small birds, about the size of a sparrow. They can be found in North America, Europe, and Asia. They eat seeds, and can be seen foraging for food in fields and meadows.

Common Redpolls are not known to flock together in large numbers. However, there have been reports of flocks of 100 or more birds.

Pine Siskins

A pine siskin perched on a tree.

Pine siskins (Carduelis pinus) are small, stocky finches that are common in North America. These birds are migratory, and during the fall and winter they can be found in flocks of hundreds or even thousands of individuals.

It has long been debated whether or not pine siskins flock together because of their innate social tendencies, or if they flock together because it is simply easier to find food in large groups.

American Goldfinches

Do American Goldfinches flock? Yes, they do. American Goldfinches are very social birds and typically form flocks of around 10-15 birds.

These flocks can be seen foraging for food in open areas such as fields or parks. When not foraging, goldfinches can often be seen perched together on tree branches or power lines.

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Red Crossbill

Red Crossbills are known for their unusual bill shape, which allows them to pry open the cones of spruce and pine trees to extract the seeds inside. These birds are also known for their flocking behavior; they often forage in groups of dozens or even hundreds of individuals.

The reasons for this behavior is that the birds may benefit from group coordination when searching for food.

Cedar Waxwings

A cedar waxwing perched on a tree.
Photo by Jack Bulmer on Unsplash

Cedar Waxwings are a type of bird that is typically found in flocks. These birds are gregarious and tend to stick together year-round, eating fruit and berries.

Cedar Waxwings can be found in many parts of North America, including the eastern and western United States, as well as southern Canada. These birds are often seen near water sources, such as streams or rivers.

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A meadow pipit sitting on a stone wall.
Photo by John Ramsdin on Unsplash

As the breeding season comes to a close, many bird species form flocks of dozens or hundreds of birds that forage together. One such species is the American pipit.

These flocks can be seen foraging in open areas near water or on agricultural land. Pipits typically forage by pecking at the ground for insects and other invertebrates, but they will also eat seeds and berries.

Yellow-rumped Warbler

A Yellow-rumped warbler perched on a tree.
Image by Hans Toom from Pixabay

Studies have shown that when foraging for food, Yellow-rumped warblers often travel together in flocks. It is thought that this behavior helps to protect the birds from predators and makes it easier for them to find food.

Warblers will typically move from tree to tree, stopping at each one to glean insects from the leaves or branches.

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A male house sparrow perched on a fence.
Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash

Sparrows are a small, brown bird that is common in North America. They can be found foraging for food on the ground or in trees, and they also roost in large flocks.

Sparrows are very social birds, and they like to be around other sparrows. They communicate with each other using a variety of songs and calls, and they often stay together while foraging or roosting.

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A Lapland Longspur foraging on the ground.
Photo by USFWS on Pixnio

Pastures and agricultural fields are two places where you’re likely to see longspurs. These birds prefer open areas with short grasses or weeds, where they can find their favorite food – insects.

You’ll usually find them in small groups or pairs, but sometimes they will form large flocks.

Snow Bunting

Snow buntings are a small North American bird that is most easily identified by its white and black plumage. These birds are migratory, and can be found in fields or lake shorelines during the winter months as they forage for food.

Snow buntings typically travel in flocks of 10-30 birds, but there have been reports of flocks numbering in the hundreds. Some possible reasons snow buntings flock include protection from predators, warmth, or increased foraging efficiency.


Meadowlarks are a grassland bird that is known to forage in flocks in fields. Up to 200 birds have been observed together. They usually feed on insects, but can also eat seeds and berries.

Meadowlarks are common throughout North America and can be identified by their yellow breast and black V-shaped markings on the neck.

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