In springtime, the Willet’s signature pill-will-willet call rings out over its breeding territory in the morning and evening, with competing males calling throughout the day. Eastern Willets give a slightly higher-pitched, more rapidly repeated version of the song than Western birds.
When chicks are present, Willets respond to predators with a single-note staccato kleep, and high-pitched alarm calls, and take up sentry posts atop tall trees to warn of threats. They make a kyah-yah call when crossing another’s territory or as a way to maintain contact during migratory flights and when shuttling between foraging and breeding areas. When approached, Willets may react with high-pitched, agitated kip-kip-kip, wiek, and kreeliii alarm calls.