The Willet (Tringa semipalmata) is one of the most abundant shore birds of San Diego County’s coast, especially around south San Diego Bay and the Tijuana River estuary. Though development in Mission Bay and San Diego Bay has altered or eliminated some of the Willet’s prime habitat—consisting of salt marshes and tidal mudflats—many Willets remain, also using beaches, lagoons, and rocky shores. Foraging along the shore, Willets feed on insects, worms, small mollusks, and small crustaceans like shore crabs, mole crabs, and fiddler crabs.
To learn more about the Willet, visit the online San Diego County Plant Atlas or check out the book at your local library.
PHOTO CREDIT: Stephen Meese, used under license from Shutterstock.com