MICHAEL L. P. RETTER
Editor, North American Birds
It is with great excitement that I write this as the new editor of North American Birds. I also write with great humility. Producing the continent’s journal of ornithological record is no small responsibility, and I take it very seriously. Besides ensuring that the magazine is produced on a timely schedule, I have a vision for where I’d like to steer the ship in the coming years.
First, I should stress that I am committed to NAB retaining an emphasis on avian status and distribution. You’ll see that here in Tony Leukering’s “Changing Seasons” column. That commitment also includes continuing publication of the widely anticipated “Pictorial Highlights”, which showcases a variety of rarities from across North America. (If you’re like me, it’s the first thing you flip to when a new issue arrives.)
But as part of my plan to revitalize the journal, I also want to expand the scope of regular content into the realms of taxonomy, identification, and behavior. For instance, in the near future we hope to offer analysis of subjects such as the field identification of “Traill’s Flycatchers” and young Slaty-backed Gulls, a primer on predicting migratory movements using weather forecasts, and the taxonomic status of and identification challenges presented by “Solitary Vireos”, “Western Flycatchers”, and White Terns.
And I have some really exciting news. The regional reports, which you’re used to seeing in the printed magazine, will now appear online. This means you can get them lightning-fast and accompanied by more photos. In addition, it means that late reports will no longer hold up publication of the magazine. This herculean endeavor has been headed up by Greg Neise and Ted Floyd, whom you will also hear from in this issue. We’re all confident that you’ll see the benefit of this change and like it, too.
Also in this issue, Tim Swain discusses bird movements related to 2019’s Hurricane Dorian, Dean Shoup presents the first known occurance of a hybrid Hooded x Yellow warbler, Laurent Vallotton recounts his discovery of Costa Rica’s second Black-vented Shearwater, and Alix d’Entremont offers detailed analysis of a “Kamchatka” Mew Gull in Nova Scotia.
Finally, I present an introduction to North America [3MB PDF]. Many residents of the continent may be surprised to learn what it is (and what it isn’t).
As always, we in the birding community depend on one another to share our knowledge and insights. With that in mind, I ask you, dear reader, to submit a manuscript for publication. Let’s become more informed birders by learning from one another.