North American Birds

VOLUME 70 NO2 2018

A Quarterly Journal of Ornithological Record Published by the American Birding Association. The mission of the journal is to provide a complete overview of the changing panorama of our continent’s birdlife.

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N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S 138 Mike Hudson Coeditor, North American Birds –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Y ou may remember that in the first issue Tom Reed and I pro- duced together, the Editors' Notebook and Changing Seasons pieces were combined for the sake of simplic- ity. In the few months since Vol. 70 No. 1 of North American Birds reached your mailboxes and computer screens, a lot has been happening behind the scenes at NAB—leading us to decide that pro - viding a fuller Editors' Notebook would be beneficial. By now you've surely heard us men- tion that one of our top priorities has been to expand the content provided by NAB. In the last issue, Tom intro- duced the blog posts titled "Happening NOW," a series of posts highlighting current trends in status and distribu- tion. We've continued this series and since spring we have posted pieces in this series monthly. The whole idea behind the "Happening NOW" posts is to describe and interpret irruptions, dispersals, and other events as they happen. We want to be able to bring attention to the many fascinating facets of avian status and distribution in real time. We are committed to continuing to provide this content and simulta - neously growing our presence on The ABA Blog by bringing more voices to "Happening NOW." To that end, if you have ideas of regional status and distri- bution events that you think deserve at- tention, please reach out to us! We are always interested in collaborations with our readers, regional editors, and other Editors' Notebook Editors' Notebook the two greatest questions we have wrestled with have been: (1) How do we keep the content our readers expect relevant, and (2) how do we keep it timely? These are two intricately con - nected questions. In today's world, bird- ing news is disseminated with aston- ishing speed and concision. Through the existence of eBird, Facebook bird groups, and other online outlets, bird - ers across the continent are seeing and engaging in discussion in real time. The Great Black Hawk spotted in Texas on 24 April of this year is a great example: spotted, quickly posted on Facebook with photos, and confirmed with the help of experts across the continent in less than a day. In all of the immediacy, however, it is easy to bypass what many of us might consider the most interesting things about such a sighting: the context of the species' status and distribution. Where are the closest populations? Has the bird occurred as a vagrant else - where? What dictates its movements? Was something like this anticipated? Entirely unprecedented? In conversa- tion after conversation, many of NAB 's longest-standing supporters keep com- ing back to this as the fundamental service provided by the journal. I fully concur. So the challenge becomes, how does a quarterly publication continue to provide, in a timely and interesting way, this essential context? Perhaps the answer is obvious in the set-up of the question: North American Birds as it currently exists would be hard pressed to provide this service to the continent's birders and field orni - friends of the journal. In conjunction with the blog posts, Tom and I appeared on the American Birding Podcast in March. Along with host Nate Swick, we discussed and dissected some of the most interesting trends and phenomena from the winter of 2017–2018 as it was wrapping up. We reviewed status and distribution events from across North America— from Nazca Boobies in California to the continent-wide invasion of Tufted Ducks. We received some truly excel - lent feedback following our stint on the podcast. Given how much fun we had—and how much fun you all evi - dently had listening to us—we definite- ly intend to make this a recurring part of our NAB content, as well. So look for us again in the near future! Hopefully we'll be chatting with Nate about the spring-that-was sometime soon… But there are some things that are still in works—evaluations that are underway for this journal that is still valued and loved by so many in the ornithological community. Tom and I have told you before that we have thought about making changes to ev- erything from the publishing sched- ule, the amount of content in print versus what might be shifted to online, new outlets for distributing content, and new partnerships to expand the scope and quality of that content. For now, I want to focus on the first two, and provide you all with just a few more details—hopefully details that will leave you excited and intrigued by what the future might hold! Since Tom and I started as Coeditors,

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