14-17" (36-43 cm). Tall, robust, long-legged, and fairly long- billed, light sand-gray bird with bluish-gray legs. Lighter bellow. May appear slightly streaky. In flight, the black and white wing pattern is visible; from above a white rump patch.
Similar Species- Greater Yellowlegs, Godwits, Wandering Tattler
Musical, repetitious pill-will-willet, weep-weep-weep, and others.
Breeds locally from eastern Oregon, Idaho, and parts of souht- central Canada, south to east-central California, western Nevada, central Utah, northern Colorado, and parts of Midwest. Also breeds locally along parts of Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Winters north to California and Virginia, and south to South America. Nonbreeders may summer in winter range.
Feeds primarily on small invertebrates (crustaceans, mollusks, insects, and worms).
Builds nest (concealed or in open) in depression on beach or flat. When not breeding, forages singly or in small, loose groups, typically in shallow water, on water surface, or in mud. Gathers in large flocks to sleep or rest. Uses separate feeding and nesting areas when breeding. Females show strong fidelity to mate and feeding areas between years. In Idaho study, Willets were more abundant in grazed than ungrazed riparian habitat.
Female (possibly male, at night) incubates 4 eggs for 22 days. Eggs are laid April-May, depending on range. Young are tended by both parents, and are abandoned at an early age.
|Status:||Protected nongame species|
Medin, D.E. and W.P. Clary. 1990. Bird and small mammal populations in a grazed and ungrazed riparian habitat in Idaho. USDA Forest Service Inter. Res. Sta. Res. Paper INT-245, Boise. 8pp.