Willets on the water’s edge

Published 5:28 pm Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Those who have walked along the beach on Pea Island Refuge or other beaches of the Outer Banks, have probably seen willets (Tringa semipalmata). 

They are one of the larger shorebirds seen scampering along the water’s edge and are ready to eat a variety of aquatic invertebrates such as clams, worms and crabs.

In this photo, an adult willet directs young birds to the safety of tall grasses on the sound side of the refuge.

“Willet fly . . . when necessary,” quipped a USFWS news release.

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