North American Birds

VOLUME 70 NO3-NO4 2019

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 250 Mike Hudson Editor, North American Birds –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– A s another issue of North American Birds hits the mailboxes and computer screens of our readers, it is again time to update you all on what has been going on behind-the-scenes here at NAB-central. In the months that have passed, our regional editors and contributors have been made aware of an exciting, and rather ambitious, plan to get the journal caught up. I'd like to use my space here to elaborate on that. This combination issue covering March through July of 2016 finished out Volume 70 Numbers 3 and 4 of NAB. Moving ahead, we are not solely going to be focusing on Volume 71 Number 1. Rather, we are going to be endeavor - ing to publish the entirety of both Volume 71 and of Volume 72, simultaneously. So what will this look like? To begin with, I will be getting some much-appreciated assistance in the form of longtime NAB friend, contributor, and associ - ate editor, Paul Lehman. Paul has agreed to work with Ted Floyd—still assisting as Managing Edi - tor—on Volume 71. This leaves me free to begin work on Volume 72. The benefits of this strategy should be relatively clear: it will do far more to catch the journal up than the "status quo" would. I think that this should be seen as a very posi- tive and exciting plan. Our readers are not only going to be provided with a dramatic increase in the amount of content they are receiving, but this division of the workload also enables us to begin making some other fascinating and—I think— fun changes. In that vein, I'm going to briefly return to the "Happening NOW" series, which I Editor's Notebook Editor's Notebook ties to engage audiences with rich, new media, provide more photographs (and provide them in color!), and link to other relevant sources of information, are all cited as compelling reasons to begin making a switch. For my part, I do not disagree with any of this. I think that there are some opportunities presented by online content that are too good to overlook. However, I also want to assure readers that this doesn't necessarily have to be an "either/ or" scenario. If we begin to move some content online—let's say the regional reports, as I have previously mused on in this column—that does not mean that we will cease to publish all material in print immediately. It doesn't even mean that a regional report will never again appear in a print publication. One option that has been suggested is providing regional reports more or less continu - ously—whenever a team of regional editors sends me a report, up it goes for immediate consump - tion at NAB-online—and then pulling a selec- tion of the most interesting, most recent, or most popular for print publication. The benefit of this approach would be that readers would have more immediate access to the material in the regional reports and the reports would exist within the context of a body of "Happening NOW" posts, podcast segments, and other media that would help provide further analysis and synthesis. I hope that you find all of this as exciting as I do. As always, I am constantly looking for feedback, ideas, and offers for help. The greatest strength of NAB, as a publication, is the depth of knowledge provided by the contributors and readers and I am always eager to benefit from that knowledge. Until the next update, enjoy this issue of NAB and good birding! n hope you all have realized is now a biweekly oc- currence on The ABA Blog. By the time this goes to press, there will have been four or five posts in the series this year, by at least four authors. As I've alluded to before, some of this is simply trying to provide quality NAB content to a wider audience, but it also has another purpose. Starting with Volume 72, you will be seeing a new content format appearing in the journal. In addition to regional reports, pictorial highlights, and feature articles, there will be a series of a few essays—short communications, really—from contributors across the continent about notable trends and happenings in the world of avian sta - tus and distribution. These may be written by our current pool of associate and regional editors or by other, new contributors. Some of them may be expansions on topics that were first addressed as blog posts in "Happening NOW," hence my allusion to the other purpose of these blog posts. Some may represent the synthesis of a trend that occurred across multiple regions. Whatever the specifics, these should be exciting and topical pieces that serve to diversify and broaden the scope of what we talk about here at NAB. This idea should sound familiar. Back in Vol - ume 70 Number 2, I suggested that changes in content might be coming, though I did not have the specific ideas that I now do. An astute reader might also recall that, at the time, I raised the idea of moving some content online. This idea is still percolating. Recently, we have received mul - tiple notes from associate and regional editors in- quiring as to whether this is on our agenda. For a variety of reasons, the general consensus is that more content should be moved online and that it should be done fairly quickly. The opportuni - Sandhill Cranes flock to stopover sites on the Platte River in Nebraska. In a recent "Hap- pening NOW" post, Marcel Such discussed the regular sights and sounds of spring, as well as those produced by the unusual bomb cyclone. He also mused on how this weather pattern might affect future birding in the region. This is just an example of some of the new content you might expect from NAB in the future. Photo by © Marcel Such.

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