Willets At Ding Darling NWR

Willet at Ding Darling NWR by Lee 01-26-2019

“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.

Willet (Tringa semipalmata) at Ding Darling NWR by Lee 01-26-2019

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:

Willet (Tringa semipalmata) at Ding Darling NWR by Lee

Willet (Tringa semipalmata) at Ding Darling NWR

Willet (Tringa semipalmata) at Ding Darling NWR

Willet (Tringa semipalmata) at Ding Darling NWR by Lee

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.

Willet (Tringa semipalmata) at Ding Darling NWR by Lee 01-26-2019

Willet (Tringa semipalmata) at Ding Darling NWR by Lee 01-26-2019

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.”


Ding Darling NWR – FWS

Ding Darling NWR – Wikipedia

Willet – All About Birds

  • 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.

Willet – Wikipedia

Willet (Tringa semipalmata) ©WikiC

Avian And Attributes – Willing

Avian And Attributes – Willing

Willet (Tringa semipalmata) by Quy Tran

“Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath:” (Hebrews 6:17 KJV)

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
(2 Peter 3:9 KJV)


Avian and Attributes – Willing

WILLING, ppr.
1. Determining; resolving; desiring.
2. Disposing of by will.
WILLING, a.

1. Free to do or grant; having the mind inclined; disposed; not averse. Let every man give, who is able and willing.
2. Pleased; desirous.
Felix, willing to show the Jews a pleasure. Acts 24.
3. Ready; prompt.
He stoopd with weary wings and willing feet.
4. Chosen; received of choice or without reluctance; as, to be held in willing chains.
5. Spontaneous.
6. Consenting.


Eastern Willet by Jim Fenton

Willet (Tringa semipalmata)

The Willet (Tringa semipalmata), formerly in the monotypic genus Catoptrophorus as Catoptrophorus semipalmatus, is a large shorebird in the sandpiper family. It is a relatively large and robust member sandpiper, and is the largest of the species called “shanks” in the genus Tringa. Its closest relative is the lesser yellowlegs, a much smaller bird with a very different appearance apart from the fine, clear, and dense pattern of the neck, which both species show in breeding plumage. It breeds in North America and the West Indies and winters in southern North America, Central America, the West Indies and South America.

The Willet’s name is onomatopoeic and refers to it loud peircing “pill-will-willet” territorial song., which is higherpicjed and repeated at a faster rate in Eastern willets than in Western birds. Other calls include a predator response call given by breeding birds which is a repeated, staccato “kleep“, while non breeding birds alarms include a high, pitched anxious “kip-kip=viek” call and a “kreei” call. They also have a distinctive call when crossing another willet’s territory and this “klay-dir” call is also used as a contact call when willets are migrating

Willet (Tringa semipalmata) ©WikiC

(Scolopacidae – Sandpipers, Snipes Family) (Willet – Wikipedia)


More Avian and Attributes

Birds whose first name starts with “W”

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[Definitions from Webster’s Dictionary of American English (1828), unless noted. Bird info from Wikipedia plus.]