Friday, October 23, 2009

murder of crows

A ‘murder’ of crows is based on the folk tale that crows form tribunals to judge and punish the bad behavior of a member of the flock. If the verdict goes against the defendant, that bird is killed (murdered) by the flock.
The basis in fact is probably that occasionally crows will kill a dying crow who doesn’t belong in their territory or much more commonly feed on carcacarcasses of dead crows. Also, both crows and ravens are associated with battlefields, medieval hospitals, execution sites and cemeteries (because they scavenged on human remains).
In England, a tombstone is sometimes called a ravenstone

Wiki on list of collective nouns

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