The distinguished white and black stripes that show on their wings set them apart from the Dowitchers and Yellowlegs. The willet was formerly regarded as being in the monotypic genus Catoptrophorus but recent studies indicate that it is better placed with the "shanks" of the genus Tringa. The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. The eastern willet breeds in coastal saltmarshes while the western willet breeds in freshwater prairie marshes, sloughs, potholes and other inland wetlands. They are normally nervous birds, with the birds closer to the landward edge of a saltmarsh being the first to utter their alarm calls, in a manner reminiscent of the common redshank in Europe, although some individuals may be approachable. Spread the word. Photo: Howard Arndt/Audubon Photography Awards, Great Egret. Are the Trump Administration's Environmental Rollbacks Built to Last? Willet in Flight. Willet (Catoptrophorus semipalmatus) in flight. Learn more about these drawings. Early morning light is a delight and adds a nice mood to images like this one of a Willet in flight. This shorebird inhabits coastal mudflats and marshes in coastal regions of eastern and north- western North America. Young: Downy young leave nest within a day after hatching, are led by parents to marshy pond areas. Audubon protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. In winter both subspecies are coastal birds being found on both rocky and sandy coasts as well as on mudflats and in coastal marshes. As parents-to-be, The Birdist and his wife considered birdy names for their son. 4, rarely 5. Legal Notices Privacy Policy Contact Us. The underparts are white. [6], After catching a fish in Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica, In flight, showing the bold underwing pattern, 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22693319A93395925.en, "Forty-seventh Supplement to the American Ornithologists' Union Check-list of North American Birds", 10.1642/0004-8038(2006)123[926:FSTTAO]2.0.CO;2, 10.1650/0010-5422(2005)107[0514:MGEFPE]2.0.CO;2, "Willet Identification, All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology", "Social organization in a nesting population of eastern willets (, Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection: Willet fact sheet,,, Taxonbars without secondary Wikidata taxon IDs, Taxonbars with automatically added original combinations, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 29 October 2020, at 17:20. A Willet standing on the beach is simply a large plain shorebird; but its identity is obvious as soon as it spreads its wings, and it even calls its name in flight. Age of young at first flight not well known, probably about 4 weeks. 44 Perfect Gifts for the Bird and Nature Lovers in Your Life, How the Evening Grosbeak Got Its Misleading Name. It’s the least you can do. It is placed among grass close to the waters edge in western willets and in saltmarsh or sand dunes in eastern willets. Non-breeding birds are plainer. Age of young at first flight not well known, probably about 4 weeks. On coast, eats many crabs, including fiddler crabs. Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. The same climate change-driven threats that put birds at risk will affect other wildlife and people, too. [10][12][9] They often use rocks, trees or fence posts to perch on. Grayish to olive-buff, blotched with brown. Lives of North American Birds. Includes insects, crustaceans, marine worms. The willet is an inelegant and heavily built shorebird with a structure similar to that of the common redshank but being larger in size than the greater yellowlegs while resembling a godwit in flight with black primary coverts and primaries contrasting with a broad white band, white secondaries with a white rump and gray tail band.. Overwhelmed and Understaffed, Our National Wildlife Refuges Need Help. [10] There are a total of 250,000 willets in North America, of which 150,000 were counted from the western flyway, and 90,000 in the eastern. Speak out against the Yazoo Backwater Pumps which would drain 200,000 acres of crucial bird habitat. Click on any photo for larger view. It uses its long bill to probe soft ground for buried invertebrates, such as marine worms and crustaceans.