Plain Brown Bird?? Pfflllt…

/, Birds, Utah, Willets/Plain Brown Bird?? Pfflllt…

I’ve heard people call Willets (Tringa semipalmata) “Plain Brown Birds”, I reckon they may have never seen one looking like this Willet.

Willet getting balancedWillet getting balanced – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/2000, ISO 500, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

Yes, Willets have brown in their plumage but they are far from “Plain”. In fact; with their wings lifted, they look pretty dapper in my opinion.

I photographed this Willet on Antelope Island State Park in northern Utah, the bird had briefly perched on a rock and then flew a short distance to the top of this shrub where for few moments it struggled to regain its balance and showed the snazzy underside of the wings.

A “Plain Brown Bird”? Pfflllt…



  1. Meret January 1, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Superb photos. Grew up in UT. not a birder or photographer then. Wish I had been. Makes me kinda homesick for the west but we have good birds here in FL too.

  2. zephyr June 16, 2012 at 8:07 am

    There is no accounting for the way some people see/think. i totally agree with you. Willets are very handsome

    • Mia McPherson June 19, 2012 at 2:36 pm

      Zepyhr, thank you, Willets are handsome

  3. Laurence Butler June 14, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Willets are handsome, no bout adout it. Even without the wing flash (which is a wonderful accent, that coloration on the side has almost the same orange-brown and black pattern of a Great-Horned Owl, a sort of tiger pattern.

    Very cool. Great shot.

    • Mia McPherson June 19, 2012 at 2:26 pm

      Thanks Laurence, they do have a tiger pattern!

  4. Prairie Birder June 14, 2012 at 8:45 am

    I agree completely, Mia, Willets are pretty dapper looking birds!

    • Mia McPherson June 19, 2012 at 2:25 pm

      Thank you Prairie Birder!

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