Saturday, May 8, 2021

Willet (Western)

In 2014 I saw some willets in Florida near Cape Canaveral, darting in and out of waves as they lapped up the seashore. In April I saw willets on two separate visits at the Salton Sea SRA, wading in shallow water in a small bay, quite a different contrast to my first sighting. However, it turns out there are two subspecies of willet that some suggest should be separate species and those separate subspecies reflect differences in how I saw them. 

The eastern subspecies, T. s. semipalmata, more of a coast and saltwater breeder, breeds along the Atlantic coast in salt marshes from southern Newfoundland down the eastern U.S. coast and into the Caribbean island and winters on the eastern coast of South America. The western willet breeds inland in fresh water prairie marshes, sloughs, potholes and other inland wetlands from the prairie marshes of Canada to northeastern California, norther Colorado and western Nebraska and winters on the Pacific coast from southern California to northern South America. Although the Salton Sea is very salty, it is quite aways inland. 
Taken April 9th.

Taken April 17th.

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