Nature Journal
with Photos

Willet Identification Tips
(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)
General Information
- Sexes similar
- Large, plump-looking, long-legged shorebird
- Long, thick, straight bill
- Bill black or blue-gray with darker tip
- Blue-gray legs
- Bold black and white wing pattern
- Whitish tail with dusky terminal band

Adult alternate
- Head, neck, back and upperwings gray-brown
  mottled with black
- Pale stripe above darker lores
- Breast and flanks barred extensively with black (in
  Eastern C.s.semipalmatus)
- Breast and flanks barred with narrow dark bars (in
  Western C.s.inornatus)
- White belly

Adult basic
- Pale gray-brown head, neck, back, upperwings and
- Pale area above darker lores
- White belly

- Warm brown head, neck, back, breast and
- Buff notches on wing feathers appear as white spots
  on back

Similar species
Yellowlegs are smaller and slimmer, with much more slender bills and yellow legs, and lack the striking black-and-white wing pattern. Godwits have much longer, thinner, upturned bills with a pink base and dark tip.
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