What does the proverb "birds of a feather flock together" mean?

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stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The proverb is giving an example of the way in which things or creatures that are similar are attracted to each other. It is saying that the same kinds of birds gather in groups with others of the same species - flocks of geese or colonies of barn swallows, as examples. A flock would have all Canadian geese in it, as opposed to being made up of some geese, some robins, some eagles, some hummingbirds, and so on - all in the same closely bound grouping. The proverb applies to people, too - humans tend to spend much of their time with others who share similar interests, are of the same general age group, pursue common activities, and so forth.