"the collective noun, a murder of crows"

In the English language there are many obscure and unusual collective nouns for groups of animals. As well as a ‘murder’ of crows it is also possible to have a ‘storytelling’ of crows. In Western mythology, crows tend to be associated with the dead and as omens of bad luck – originally they were counted as an augury, to determine what fortune would befall the people, although now magpies are traditionally used for this purpose. The children’s nursery rhyme for auguring with birds goes as follows:

An American or Northwestern crow
GNU Free Documentation LicenseAn American or Northwestern crow - Credit: Walter Siegmund
One for sorrow,

Two for joy,

Three for a girl,

Four for a boy,

Five for silver,

Six for gold,

Seven for a secret never to be told,

Eight for a wish,

Nine for a kiss,

Ten for a bird you must not miss.