Image Source
Info Source:
Cornell Lab of Ornithology


The Willet is a large shorebird in the sandpiper family. Adults have gray legs and a long, straight, dark and stout bill. The body is dark gray above and light underneath. The tail is white with a dark band at the end. The distinctive black and white pattern of the wings is a common sight along many North American coastal beaches. In the winter, Willets feed on beaches and rocky coasts, as well as mudflats and marshes. Eastern Willets breed in coastal saltmarshes and on barrier beaches and islands.

Willets eat beetles, fish, spiders, crabs, worms and clams by taking their prey from the surface or probing along shorelines with their bill.

The Willet’s population declined sharply due to hunting in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Their population has since increased, but they are still considered at risk, especially in light of continued habitat loss. Both adult and fledglings are very vulnerable to collisions with power lines built throughout wetland breeding sites.