[CT Birds] "peep" and not "peep"

Steve Mayo and Rebecca Horowitz rsdmayo at sbcglobal.net
Sun Apr 20 20:14:53 EDT 2014


This post sent me flapping over to my library, to peep at the plates in RTP's field guide to Eastern Birds. 


The fourth edition has labeled the 5 on a single plate, as "peep" sandpipers.  I couldn't immediately locate the famous and abundant previous edition.  However, I do have a reproduction of the first edition (1934).  


I'd never really looked at it! The lack of color plates, the lack of plates in general, the use of sketches within the text reminiscent of other bird books of the day and days prior, the "soft"and very simple black and white and gray illustrations on plates, the very small number of "PetersonSystem" field marks noted, the simple Allan Brook-sian paintings, the tiny warbler color images - all of these features make this edition seem so down-right antique.  

Then I noticed this:  "Collectively we call the small Sparrow-sized Sandpipers 'Peep.'  These include the Least, Semipalmated, Western, Baird's and White-rumped.  All of them have a characteristic streaked, brown pattern, which, if we except the larger Pectoral Sandpiper, sets them, as a group, apart from the others."

It definitely takes some practice to tease out a larger Pectoral, a distant Sanderling, or a drab Dunlinfrom the 'peeps'.  


And I suppose, there are other more international Calidrid 'peeps' as well?  Little, red-necked, Temminnck's, and Long-toed Stint, come to mind.  


Steve Mayo
Bethany





________________________________
 From: "sffaulkner at comcast.net" <sffaulkner at comcast.net>
To: CT Birding Listserve <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>; Roy Harvey <rmharvey at snet.net> 
Sent: Sunday, April 20, 2014 7:10 PM
Subject: Re: [CT Birds] "peep" and not "peep"
 

I appreciate the definition, Greg, and admit to being a perpetrator -- but only out of ignorance!  I truly thought that peeps were “little shorebirds I can’t identify”!!!


Sarah Faulkner

Collinsville






Sent from Windows Mail





From: Roy Harvey
Sent: ‎Sunday‎, ‎April‎ ‎20‎, ‎2014 ‎7‎:‎00‎ ‎PM
To: CT Birding Listserve





(Greg asked me to post this for him since he is caught up in the no-posts-from-Yahoo mess.)


It's
become apparent to me, mainly on eBird but also CTBirds, that there is 
some misunderstanding over the term "peep" when referring to small 
sandpipers. There is a group of small sandpipers in the genus Calidris, 
but only the smallest 5 - Semipalmated, Least, Western, White-rumped and
Baird's - are referred to as "peep" in North America. The other three -
Sanderling, Dunlin and Pectoral - are not. Since there are very few 
actual "peep" around right now (just a few Least) it's apparent that 
some folks are referring to mixed groups of Sanderling
and Dunlin as "peep." Until just a few minutes ago, the only correct 
general term for those in eBird was something like "shorebird sp." or 
"sandpiper sp." I've added another term that can be used for mixed 
flocks of Sanderling and Dunlin - Calidris sp. This could also be used 
later in the spring migration if these species plus actual "peep" are 
all present in a large group where conditions make species ID difficult.

Greg Hanisek
Waterbury

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