Review of Watchable Birds of the Black Hills, Badlands, and Northern Great Plains

When we first got wind of the Watchable Birds of the Black Hills, Badlands And Northern Great Plains (Watchable Birds), we had high expectations. We are planning a trip to this amazing region in late May/early June and there is a surprising lack of books on birding this area. Watchable Birds doesn’t quite cover our need exactly. However, there is still a lot of good that comes out of what is essentially the only birding book covering the Black Hills region.

Of the more than 400 species found in this region, 82 birds are highlighted with an additional 71 similar species photographed. In all, 257 color photographs provide a wonderful visual to the birds that are indeed “watchable”. Each species covered in depth has a good description of what field marks to look for, the status of distribution of the species, and a listing of various “hot spots” where you are most likely to find the bird in question.

Badlands National Park – South Dakota
Badlands of South Dakota

Watchable Birds is not really a field guide nor is it your typical bird-finding guide (such as the wildly popular ABA Bird Finding Guides). Instead, this book gives birders a beginning look into the amazing bird life of this spectacularly scenic and diverse region.

Rating: 8 of 10 feathers

4 thoughts on “Review of Watchable Birds of the Black Hills, Badlands, and Northern Great Plains

  1. Love that part of the world! For the Black Hills, there’s Richard Peterson’s old pink bfg; Paul Johnsgard’s Birds of the Great Plains; and Birds of South Dakota. I know that a very fine young birder is working on a new guide to the birds and birding sites of the Hills, too, so there’s something to look forward to.
    Have a good Monday,

  2. Thanks, I had been wondering about the format of this book.

    I have yet to visit this region (well, except for northern Colorado), but I probably won’t be able to resist for much longer.

  3. I found your site after looking for black hills bird books. Thanks for reviewing “Watchable Birds”, as I think this is the one the library has here. I too am amazed at the lack of books on this topic. I’ve seen some very vibrant birds in the hills, but hopefully soon I’ll have a better idea of what I’m looking at now. I had no idea the hills had that many species. Thanks!

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