willet

[wil-it]
noun, plural willets (especially collectively) willet.
a large, eastern North American shorebird, Catoptrophorus semipalmatus, having a striking black and white wing pattern.

Origin:
1700–10, Americanism; short for pill-will-willet, conventional imitative of its cry

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World English Dictionary
willet (ˈwɪlɪt)
 
n
a large American shore bird, Catoptrophorus semipalmatus, having a long stout bill, long legs, and a grey plumage with black-and-white wings: family Scolopacidae (sandpipers, etc), order Charadriiformes
 
[short for pill-will-willet imitation of its cry]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

willet

(Catoptrophorus semipalmatus), large, long-billed shorebird of America, belonging to the family Scolopacidae (order Charadriiformes), which also includes the snipes, turnstones, and curlews. The willet is named for its loud call. Willets are about 40 centimetres (16 inches) long and gray, with striking black and white wings. With the wings closed, they resemble the greater yellowlegs. Once a declining species, willets have revived under protection of their breeding places, around ponds, from southwestern Canada to Colorado and south to Mexico, and from Nova Scotia to Florida and the West Indies. In winter, willets are found on seacoasts from California and the Carolinas to Peru and French Guiana.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The willet is one of the shore birds that commonly use the marshland as a nesting site.
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