Willets in Action

Although I’ve seen many Willets on the ocean shore in both Washington and California, I didn’t have any idea what it was when first confronted by one in Malheur. When I saw one flying by, I got out of the car and tried to capture it in flight.

That turned out to be a lot easier to do than expected because instead of flying away as most birds do, “it,” and as it turned out, “they,” flew directly over my head several times,

protesting constantly

until the first one landed nearby and glared at me.

I lost track of the first bird when a second Willet appeared,

flying even closer

than the first had flown and complained even louder

until it, too, landed on nearby sagebrush.

At that point it took off to join the first bird as they retreated into the heavy brush.

A little online research indicates that Willets spend the winter on the coastline but nest in grasslands and prairies near fresh water.

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