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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Willet \Wil"let\, n. (Zo["o]l.) A large North American snipe ( Symphemia semipalmata); -- called also pill-willet, will-willet, semipalmated tattler, or snipe, duck snipe, and stone curlew.

Carolina willet, the Hudsonian godwit.


n. ''Tringa semipalmata'' or ''Catoptrophorus semipalmatus'', a large shorebird.


n. large North American shorebird of eastern and Gulf coasts [syn: Catoptrophorus semipalmatus]


The willet (Tringa semipalmata), formerly in the monotypic genus Catoptrophorus as Catoptrophorus semipalmatus, is a large shorebird in the sandpiper family. It is a good-sized and stout scolopacid, the largest of the shanks. Its closest relative is the lesser yellowlegs, a much smaller bird with a very different appearance apart from the fine, clear, and dense pattern of the neck, which both species show in breeding plumage.

Adults have gray legs and a long, straight, dark and stout bill. The body is dark gray above and light underneath. The tail is white with a dark band at the end. The distinctive black and white pattern of the wings is a common sight along many North American coastal beaches.

Two subspecies (which may actually be different species) have very different breeding habitats and ranges. The eastern willet breeds in coastal saltmarshes from Nova Scotia to Mexico and the Caribbean. It winters on the Atlantic coast of South America. The western willet breeds in freshwater prairie marshes in western North America. It winters on both coasts, from the mid-Atlantic states south to at least Brazil on the Atlantic, and from Oregon south to Peru and Chile on the Pacific.

Willets nest on the ground, usually in well-hidden locations in short grass, often in colonies. These birds forage on mudflats or in shallow water, probing or picking up food by sight. They mainly eat insects, crustaceans and marine worms, but also eat some plant material.

The willet's population declined sharply due to hunting in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Their population has since increased, but they are still considered at risk, especially in light of continued habitat loss.

Willet (disambiguation)

Willet is a species of bird.

It is also an anglicized form of a French surname Ouellet.

Willet may also refer to:

  • Slim Willet (1919–1966), American disc jockey, musician, and songwriter
  • USS Willet (AM-54), Lapwing-class minesweeper commissioned by the United States Navy for service after World War I
  • Willet (band), American rock band
  • Willet Casey (1762–1848), farmer and political figure in Upper Canada
  • Willet M. Hays (1859–1927), American plant breeder and U. S. Assistant Secretary of Agriculture
  • Willet, New York, United States
  • Willet, Wisconsin, ghost town, United States
  • Willet (band), a Christian rock band
Willet (band)

Willet is an American Christian rock band, and they are the three Willet brothers, Jeremy, Justin, and Jordan. They come from Westminster, Maryland, where the band started making music in 2006. They released, two extended plays, Sometimes a City Needs a Bomb in 2007, and Love on the Outside in 2012. The group have released four studio albums, Virus in 2008, Somewhere in Between in 2009, Teeth of a Lion, Fangs of a Lioness in 2010, and Searchlight in 2014.

Usage examples of "willet".

He had an immense admiration for Willet and he spoke of his deeds with such vivid words and with so much imagery and embroidery that they seemed to be enacted again there in that quiet room before the men who listened.

Before that they were in innumerable encounters and other perils, usually with the great hunter, David Willet, of whom you all know, and who, I regret, is not here.

I have to go away without seeing Willet, but you could not be in safer hands than his.

He wondered what Tayoga was doing and what would Willet think when he came back to Albany and found him gone.

Tayoga, Willet, Master Jacobus, all the good friends of his youth had disappeared over the horizon with the lost land.

His own instincts were always for the right, and long comradeship with Willet and Tayoga made his will to obey those instincts all the stronger.

It would have added spice to his life, much of which had been spent in hunting with Willet and Tayoga.

For the sake of sport he hoped that it would be so, and, using all the skill that he had learned in his long association with Willet and Tayoga, he crept down through the woods.

But how much pleasanter it would have been if Willet and Tayoga, those faithful comrades of many perils, were there with him to share it!

There was Willet big, grave and wise, but with the lurking humor in the corner of his eye, there was Tayoga, lean, calm, inscrutable, the young philosopher of the woods and the greatest trailer in the world, and there was Grosvenor, ruddy, frank, tenacious, eager to learn all the lore of the woods.

As he recalled it the day after, Tayoga, Willet and Grosvenor were very vivid figures at his table, sitting opposite him, and to right and left.

He would yet be in time to take part in the great campaign against Quebec, sharing the dangers and glory with Willet, Tayoga, Grosvenor and the others.

Tayoga, a wonderful Onondaga Indian, and of David Willet, a great hunter?

Tayoga is back there now with the hunter Willet, doing some great service in the war, what I know not, but it is something surely great.

Louisbourg, but I felt that I must go first to Albany and then join Willet and Tayoga.