I have often written how I long to hear the first Long-billed Curlew in the spring but I feel I should mention that I also anxiously await the first calls of migrating Willets too.
I haven’t heard or seen my first Willet of the season yet but I know that it won’t be long before I hear pill-will-willet ring out over Antelope Island State Park or the causeway to it, over Farmington Bay or Bear River NWR. I only see our western Willets during their breeding season. The photo above was taken last year on Antelope Island State Park.
In Florida I saw Willets most of the year but the eastern subspecies migrated south in the winter and then the western subspecies would migrate there to overwinter. The Willet pictured above and its mate successfully reared young at Fort De Soto County Park in 2009 just before I moved to Utah and it was uncommon that they picked such a busy location.
The calls of the western and eastern Willets very much alike and both of them excite me, I do love my shorebirds!
I am listening for their calls here in Utah, it won’t be long.
Life is good.