Eastern Willet (Catoptrophorus semipalmatus semipalmatus)

Range: Eastern North America (coastal)

Currently lumped with Western Willet (Catoptrophorus semipalmatus inornatus) but differs in size, proportions, plumage-coloration, voice, range and ecology. Separation of the two under field conditions is difficult due to considerable variation within each of the subspecies (click here for discussion). Considered by some a candidate for splitting. Breeds along the Atlantic coast of North America, from Nova Scotia south to Florida, and along the Gulf of Mexico from Florida through Texas and Tamaulipas in Mexico. Local breeder in the West Indies.


Alternate Plumage


Fig. 1. Alternate adult. The breast and flanks are heavily barred. Photo copyright of Angus Wilson© 2004.


Fig. 2. Alternate adult. Photo copyright of Angus Wilson© 2004.


Fig. 3.
Alternate adult in flight showing extensive white bar on the base of the primaries merging into the plae greater secondary coverts and white inner primaries.
15 June 2003, Big Egg Marsh, New York. Photo copyright of Angus Wilson© 2004.


Fig. 4.
Alternate adult.
15 June 2003, Big Egg Marsh, New York. Photo copyright of Angus Wilson© 2004.

Fig. 5.
Alternate adult showing distinctive underwing pattern.
28 June 2004, Shinnecock Marshes, New York. Photo copyright of Angus Wilson© 2004.


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All text and images copyright of Angus Wilson© 2004