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Willet

Catoptrophorus semipalmatus

Willets can be found all year in San Diego, though only non-breeders are here in the summer. Breeding occurs in the Great Basin, central Rocky Mountains and northern prairies. I found breeding birds near Lake Crowley in California. When seen on land, these birds are plain looking with no bold markings to call attention. But when they take flight, their wings spread to show a flash of black and white bars and the impression is quite different and pleasing.

Two forms of Willets breed in North America. The Western form breeds in freshwater habitats of the interior western USA. The Eastern Willets breed on the Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Mexico and north to Newfoundland in Canada. In winter these birds may travel as far as the Pacific coast of South America south of the equator.

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