Saturday, September 15, 2012
What do you think of when you see or hear that word? Is it the sound a baby chick makes? Is it a glutenous, sugary, glob-o-goo shaped like a duck or bunny? Is it a sound you DON'T make when your parents tell you not to?
Peep to me has meant many things through my life. First being the marshmalloy treat to be found around the Easter holiday. Then...as I grew older and moved to NYC - the urban young man in me learned that your "peeps" were your friends . . . the local lads and lasses you hung with and perhaps got in some trouble with. But then I grew a little more and peep has become a whole new thing...as it probably has to many of you. Peep is the term for any tiny little shorebird (Least, Western, Semipalmated sandpipers..to name a few) that are hard to tell apart at a distance, especially in the Fall. When you're not sure which species they are... ya just call them a "peep." I think the word comes from the tiny sounds they make while feeding and not their resemblence to the sugary treats...but I'm not sure. All I know is, knowing the word peep makes me feel good about not being able to tell a Least from a Western from a Semipalmated sandpiper when they're flying away from me at speed. I know many others have had the same problem and have collectively adopted the word peep to describe them.
And speaking of peeps . . . (the birds, not my homies) there were lots of them on the Refuge this past week, of almost every species to be expected, as well as some of their larger cousins such as Baird's and Pectoral sandpipers.
So, while we await the return of the edible and delicious peeps delivered by the Easter bunny . . . get out to the Refuge and check out the live and just as adorable ones that are stopping through and filling up in our wetlands and mudflats.