Copyright 2000-2014 by Thomas Zinneman.  All rights reserved.

Willet Trianga semipalmata

There are two subspecies of Willets found in North America: Eastern (semipalmata) and Western (inornada).  During the winter (non-breeding) months, the Western subspecies can be found along the southern Atlantic and Pacific coasts and along the Gulf coast.  The Eastern subspecies leaves the North American continent and migrates to the coasts of Central and South America.

During the summer (breeding) months, the Western Willets migrate inland to breed in the grasslands and Great Basin deserts of the north central United States (Oregon, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, and North and South Dakota) and south central Canada (Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba).  The Eastern Willets return and breed along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts.

In Florida, the Western Willets are found along both coasts, but are more abundant along the Gulf coast during the winter months.  They start migrating inland during April-May and return during August-September.  The Eastern Willets migrate into Florida during March-May and leave during July-October.  So there is some overlap during which both species may be found in Florida at the same time.