What Is the Correct Collective Noun for Bats?

Bats are the only mammals capable of sustained flight, and they possess unique adaptations such as echolocation, the ability to hibernate, and, in some cases, the ability to consume blood. Additionally, many bat species are well adapted to low-light conditions and can navigate and hunt in total darkness.

With over 1,400 species, bats live in almost every part of the world and vary in size from the world’s smallest mammal to having a wingspan of up to 6 feet.

Now you know all these interesting facts about bats, but do you know the collective noun for “bats”? You may have heard it’s a colony, cloud, swarm, flight, camp or cauldron of bats, but what is a group of bats actually called?

Do You Know the Collective Noun for Bats?

Depending on the context, people use a variety of collective nouns to describe a group of bats. Let’s dive into when to use each term.


The correct collective noun for “bats” is a “colony.” In biology, the term “colony” describes a group of individual animals of the same species that live in close proximity to each other. This applies to bats because they often roost together in places like caves, tree hollows, or man-made structures, forming a colony of bats.


The term “bat cloud” or “cloud of bats” describes how a large group of bats can look when they fly closely together, almost like a moving dark cloud in the sky. This usually happens around dusk or dawn when lots of bats come out at once.


Sometimes, a group of bats is called a “swarm” to describe a large group of animals moving together in a coordinated manner. Typically, people use this term when bats exit or enter their roosting sites en masse.


Similar to “swarm,” the term “flight” or “flight of bats” emphasizes the act of flying. People may choose “flight” to paint a vivid picture of bats gliding through the night sky.


Occasionally, you may hear someone use the word “camp” to describe a group of bats. These nocturnal mammals often gather in a specific location, creating their own “camps” that they return to regularly.


Why is a group of bats called a “cauldron”? When they leave their homes in a group, bats move in swirling patterns that can look like a liquid bubbling in a cauldron. The word “cauldron” here is more poetic in nature and helps describe how mysterious and fascinating it is to see the bats twist and turn in the air together.

Do Collective Nouns Make You Go Batty?

Due to their unique abilities and communal structure, bats continue to fascinate us and inspire diverse terminology. While “colony” is the most accurate collective noun for bats, many other terms describe groups of these animals.

Which term for a group of bats do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below! Let GrammarMill be your guide for more expert grammar guidance.


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