Soon Willets will be arriving in Utah

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Willet callingWillet calling – Nikon D200, f7.1, 1/640, ISO 400, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

March is a month when I begin to anticipate the arrival of Willets, I have been listening carefully for them and hoping to catch sight of them along the causeway to Antelope Island any day now.

I took these images in 2011 on a day that didn’t have great light when the Willets were exhibiting courtship behavior. The Willet stood on this rock calling for quite a while, off and on.

Willet in breeding displayWillet in courtship display – Nikon D200, f7.1, 1/750, ISO 400, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

Then when another Willet flew into the area the Willet lifted its wings in a courtship display. These birds don’t look so plain when their wings are lifted! The call can be heard here.

By the way, those little blurry specks in this frame are Midges and before long we will be seeing those too.

The weather has warmed up here and this coming week is forecasted to be sunny, and who knows, I might just see and hear my first Willet of the year!



  1. Sherry in MT March 11, 2013 at 7:39 am

    Catching up on posts, too busy this weekend. I like that first photo, looks like it is telling the world something….

    • Mia McPherson March 22, 2013 at 4:13 pm

      Sherry, I’m trying to catch up too! Thanks for your comment.

  2. Julie Brown March 10, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Awesome detail on this bird! It is nice to see the breeding plumage.

  3. Kathleen March 10, 2013 at 5:36 am

    Love the Willets. Haven’t done shore birding in a few years, so I haven’t seen one since 2010. Hopefully that will change this year!

    • Mia McPherson March 22, 2013 at 4:12 pm

      I hope you will get to see plenty of shorebirds this year Kathleen.

  4. eric c11 March 10, 2013 at 1:13 am

    beautifull attitude for the second picture, there a very nice contrast under the wings, well done mia ☺
    see you soon

  5. Bonnie peel March 9, 2013 at 11:52 am

    We spotted them in late April last year at a birding festival in AZ , but never got to see this behavior. Beautiful shot as always Mia

    • Mia McPherson March 22, 2013 at 4:12 pm

      Thanks Bonnie! I hope you do get to see this behavior.

  6. Merrill Ann Gonzales March 9, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Even if I could get to see these marvelous birds in the field, I dought I’d enjoy them more than these two marvelous photos which permit me to linger a while and enjoy the feathering, the depth of the complexity that is a Willet. Many thanks!

    • Mia McPherson March 22, 2013 at 4:11 pm

      Thank you Merrill, they do have wonderful detail in their plumage

  7. Wally March 9, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Wonderful birds that are easy to take for granted around here since they’re so prevalent. I hope to get photos of chicks this year.

    • Mia McPherson March 22, 2013 at 4:11 pm

      Thank you Wally! They are wonderful

  8. Susan March 9, 2013 at 7:00 am

    Lovely photos Mia, hope you see and hear the Willets soon:)

  9. Tammy Karr March 9, 2013 at 6:17 am

    Great captures, Mia! The colors of the Willet contrast beautifully against the soft blue background!!

    • Mia McPherson March 9, 2013 at 11:06 am

      Thank you Tammy. I do love the warm browns and tans against that soft blue.

  10. Bob Bushell March 9, 2013 at 5:46 am

    Great pictures of the Willets.

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