Illustration from National Geographic's Field Guide to the Birds of North America
Catoptrophorus semipalmatus inornatus
Subspecies of Willet
May 9, 1805, at Fort Peck Dam, Valley County, Montana.
A large shorebird, gray-brown, with a long straight bill. Best identified in flight by its flashy black-and-white wing pattern. Gray legs and thicker bill distinguish it from greater yellowlegs, another shorebird. Length: 15 in (38 cm).
A loud ringing pill-will-willet and a quieter kuk-kuk-kuk-kuk-kuk.
Coastal beaches, freshwater and salt marshes, lakeshores, and wet prairies.
Breeds from central Canada to northeastern California and Nevada; also along Atlantic and Gulf coasts south from Nova Scotia. Winters along coasts from Oregon and Carolinas southward.
Once in flight or even with wings spread out, willets are distinguished by their striking black-and-white color pattern.