These unassuming shore birds travel great distances to vacation with us on Siesta Key’s beaches — with some migrating from New England, Nova Scotia in eastern Canada, and even the distant prairies of western Canada! Willets may not wear the most impressive plumage or colors of Siesta Key’s coastal birds, but these industrious workaholics sure are fun to watch.
The willet scurries tirelessly through the swash — the seawater that rushes up the beach after the breaking of a wave — in search of its next meal. Nimble legs quickly position the willet’s long bill for the best chance to snatch small crustaceans, mollusks and fish from the shallows. The willet often outruns its many sandpiper cousins whenever the ebbing waves set the table, so to speak.
Don’t worry, there’s plenty for everyone!