“But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you;” (Job 12:7 NKJV)
Previously, we were at Merritt Island NWR and had seen some Willets and I needed help identifying some birds. One of them turned out to be a Willet. I have seen them before, but not very often. Today, we went to Ding Darling NWR over on Sanibel Island, right nearby Fort Myers, Florida.
Today was very cool, around 48-50 degrees, overcast, and very windy. Not a great day for birdwatching, if you have a small temperature range like I do. :) My range is between 65 and 80 degrees. Anyway, back to the adventure.
The birds were few and not really close in. Most of my photos were taken using my zoom. The Willets were feeding and I happened to be standing by a lady with a nice camera that had a long lens on it. Wanting to show of my new Willet identity skills, I said, “those are Willets, right.?” [That is how you ask when you really aren’t 100% sure.]
“Yes, they are.” Then she said, “I am a biologist and a Shorebird specialists.” About that time, one of the Willets from another group flew by us and she told me that the black and white wing bars are a great clue. Also, they are one of the largest shorebirds in this area.
One of the great things about birdwatching is the helpfulness of other birders. Most are willing to share their experience and knowledge about these Avian Wonders from our Creator. Now I have another way to help figure out that I am looking at a Willet.
Here are a few more photos as he flew by:
When the bird landed, you could still see the black at the back of its wings. [far left bird]
As we continued to watch and talk, a group of the Willets flew over and landed. It was nice to see all those black and white markings. Once they settled down, close their wings, all that “clue” is again hid. Oh, the joys and challenges of birdwatching.
By the way, looking back over previous photos, we were last at Ding Darling in July of 2008. It has been some time since we were there and there were many more birds. Could it be because it was in July and WARMER???
The verse quoted above, “But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you;” (Job 12:7 NKJV), reminds us that the Lord has made each species just a bit different. If we study them, “they will tell us.”
- Because they find prey using the sensitive tips of their bills, and not just eyesight, Willets can feed both during the day and at night.