Some sad news today: The wonderful willet who graced our Aviary for 32 years passed away on Monday. A record-breaking bird, she was a delight of a personality to work with in her three-plus decades with us.
She arrived in 1987 as an injured adult, and her characteristically drooping wing immediately became a tell-tale identifier to staff and guests as she busily patrolled the exhibit’s sand dunes. Willets only live about ten years in the wild, and as far as we know our willet is the oldest ever of her kind due to the exceptional care she received at the Aquarium, as well as her laid-back attitude and tenacity over the years.
From exhibit remodels to health check-ups, welcoming new neighbors and greeting our guests, our willet was a calming presence to the other birds and to our staff and a wonderful ambassador for her species for more than three decades.
We like to think she stuck it out through our 35th anniversary on Sunday just for us. She will be missed, and we hope that you’ll join us in celebrating her long life.