Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Spring 2007


Published in GREAT PLAINS RESEARCH 17:1 (Spring 2007). Copyright © 2007 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


In the sometimes odd vernacular of bird watchers, "watchable" refers to those species that for the most part are fairly easily observed and, by virtue of their behavior or other features, are deemed especially interesting. Of the roughly 400 bird species that occupy the region selected by Wassink (including all of both Dakotas and Nebraska, plus the High Plains of eastern Montana, Wyoming, and northeastern Colorado), he has chosen 84 to discuss individually. One or more generally high-quality color photos of each of these species are included. He has also included color photos of 71 "similar" species, usually of forms closely related to the 84 primary ones. Up to about 500 words of text are provided for each of these, usually emphasizing breeding behavior and nesting biology. The "similar species" receive short paragraphs of about 100 words. For all species there is an abbreviated "Field Marks" section and a short "Status" statement. Some relatively rare species also have a "Hot Spots" section, indicating locations where each is more likely to be encountered.