photo by Phil Swanson

Catoptrophorus semipalmatus
L 15″(38 cm).

Song or calls:
Noisy “pill-will-willet.”

Description: Sexes similar. Mottled brownish-gray above and below; belly is white. Fairly long, heavy bill; long gray legs. In flight, shows a distinctive black and white wing pattern. Winter plumage is uniformly gray above and white below.

Bird Map

Habitat: Breeding birds use a variety of wetland habitats, such as streams, ponds, and marshes. Prefer habitats with nearby prairie vegetation.

Where in Nebraska: Uncommon to locally common spring and fall migrant across the state. Locally common summer resident and breeder in the Sandhills.

Field Notes: Sandhills of Nebraska appear to be the southern limits of breeding in all of the Plains states.

Fun Facts: The Willet is a type of sandpiper and is the only sandpiper in North America whose breeding range extends all the way into the tropics.

Willet - photo by Phil Swanson Willet - photo by Phil Swanson
(click image for larger view)