Birds of a Feather Flock Together


What does the phrase birds of a feather flock together mean? That people tend to associate with those who share similar interests or values.

Example: Ed met most of his friends at the gym. Now once a week, they all meet up and exercise together by going for bike rides around the city. As the saying goes, birds of a feather flock together.

Synonyms/Similar: two peas in a pod

Birds of the same feather flocking together, flying in the sky.
A large flock of birds of a similar feather.

The Origin of ‘Birds of a Feather Flock Together’

The phrase ‘birds of a feather flock together’ is at least over 470 years old. It was in use as far back as the mid-16th century. William Turner is said to have used a version of this expression in the Rescuing of Romish Fox, from the year 1545:

“Byrdes of on kynde and color flok and flye allwayes together.”

At some point, a birds flocking behavior started to be applied metaphorically to people who acted in a similar way, and now today, we have this saying.

Do Birds Of The Same Feather Really Flock Together?

They sure do. It’s a common sight to see when you’re outside. You’ll see pigeons flying together with other pigeons, ravens with ravens, and so on. They tend to stick with their own kind; you don’t typically see one type of bird grouping up and flying together with another type.

How Big Can Bird Flocks Get?

They can vary greatly in number. Some birds might travel together only with a dozen or so of its kind, while others, like the Red-billed Quelea, can form flocks that number into the thousands! Imagine seeing that in person. It’d look like a giant cloud… of birds. Though that is one cloud you wouldn’t want to stand under for too long.

Did You Know? When birds are flocking together, they use less energy to fly. For example, you’ve probably seen the ‘V’ formation that some birds fly in. Each bird flies in the wake of another, which reduces the wind resistance for the ones in the back. Hence, the ones in the back do not need to exert as much energy. So the bird in the front has it the hardest, but they all take turns being the front flyer.

See Also:

Kill Two Birds With One Stone

Speaking of bird phrases, here’s another one! What does it mean for someone to ‘kill two birds with one stone’? Find out!