Welcome to day 157 of 365 photos…this mama Willet was standing her ground when anyone came down the trail today. Just as soon anyone would get near a certain section of the trail, she would start squawking and fly toward a tree that was right next to the trail. The strange part was that she kept squawking but would NOT leave her post until the person passing would move away. I moved a bit down the trail to watch and she would return to the marshy area so I thought their must be a nest but as I watched three smaller willets start to fly around. I am guessing that it may have been the first time they left the nest and mama was watching over them. I never did get a photo of the three smaller ones but I got mama both times that I came past her “domain”. It made for a fun interlude to a morning walk.Camera: Nikon D7100 – Lens: Nikon 80-400mm
Focal Length: 180mm – Aperture: f/8.0 – Shutter Speed: 1/500 second – ISO: 200From allaboutbirds.org, some cool facts about willets.
- Willets breeding in the interior of the West differ from the Atlantic Coastal form in ecology, shape, and subtly in calls. Western Willets breed in freshwater habitats, and are slightly larger and paler gray. Eastern Willets have stouter bills and more barring on their chest and back. The difference in pitch between the calls of the two subspecies is very difficult for a person to detect, but the birds can hear the difference and respond more strongly to recorded calls of their own type.
- Although both parents incubate the eggs, only the male Willet spends the night on the nest.
- Willets and other shorebirds were once a popular food. In his famous Birds of America accounts, John James Audubon wrote that Willet eggs were tasty and the young “grow rapidly, become fat and juicy, and by the time they are able to fly, afford excellent food.” By the early 1900s, Willets had almost vanished north of Virginia. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 banned market hunting and marked the start of the Willet’s comeback.
- Like Killdeer, Willets will pretend to be disabled by a broken wing in order to draw attention to themselves and lure predators away from their eggs or chicks.
- Because they find prey using the sensitive tips of their bills, and not just eyesight, Willets can feed both during the day and at night.
- The oldest known Willet in North America was 10 years, 3 months old.
Glad that you stopped by my self-project of a photo a day for 365 days. If this is your first time to my site and you wonder what this 365 days of photos is all about, click HERE to read the original post. Settings are added to the photos so that I can remember what I’ve used and can see if any future photos done with other settings turn out better or worse. Remember, this project is all about my learning more about photography.
Check out E-liz Treasures to see what my friend in Maine is doing with her daily photos.
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