About the Journal

The Journal of Caribbean Ornithology (JCO) is a refereed scientific journal, produced by the non-profit society BirdsCaribbean. The journal has now served as an important resource for ornithological research in the Caribbean for over 34 years.



The Journal of Caribbean Ornithology is a peer-reviewed journal covering all aspects of ornithology within the Caribbean region (including Bermuda, the Bahamas, and all islands within the Caribbean basin). We welcome manuscripts covering the biology, ecology, behavior, life history, and conservation of Caribbean birds and their habitats. We also publish first-time avian records, novel behavioral observations, natural history studies, conservation management plans, and on-the-ground advocacy work. Submission categories include Research Articles, Research Notes, Reviews, Conservation Reports, and Perspectives & Opinions.



In 1988, Dr. James (Jim) W. Wiley conceived and published the first issue of El Pitirre, a newsletter for the Society for the Study of Caribbean Ornithology (now BirdsCaribbean). He went on to serve as Editor-in-Chief for the first 17 volumes—an incredible feat—and in the process, grew the newsletter into a peer-reviewed research journal well-respected across the Caribbean.

Volume 16 (2003) marked the end of the El Pitirre name and the birth of Journal of Caribbean Ornithology. 2004 would mark Wiley’s final year, wrapping up his tenure with Volume 17. Dr. Jerome (Jerry) A. Jackson tagged in as a co-Editor-in-Chief with Dr. Floyd Hayes for Volume 18 (2005), with Floyd taking the reins from there. In 2006, Martín Acosta Cruz came aboard as co-Editor-in-Chief, overseeing manuscripts coming out of Cuba. Two years later, Floyd recruited Douglas Weidemann, then a biology student at Pacific Union College, to serve as an Editorial Assistant and later as Production Editor. Doug has been instrumental in keeping JCO moving forward as the leading ornithological publication in the Caribbean.

Floyd and Martín would continue serving as Editors-in-Chief for the next eight volumes of JCO. In 2014 (Volume 27), Dr. Jason Townsend stepped into the Editor-in-Chief position, and shepherded JCO into a productive chapter that included transitioning the journal to open-access and onto an online academic publishing site, as well as growing the JCO team with new staff and new positions. When Jason created and advertised a Managing Editor position in 2016, Justin Proctor jumped at the opportunity to become involved. He has spent his time with JCO helping expand the journal’s publication capacity, improving timeliness of publication, and developing resources for burgeoning authors.

Dr. Joseph M. Wunderle came onboard as Editor-in-Chief in 2020, and Dr. Stefan Gleissberg was passed the Managing Editor torch in 2021. Both look forward to ushering JCO into a new decade of success! 



The Journal of Caribbean Ornithology is committed to working with and giving voice to the entire Caribbean ornithological community, as well as those beyond the region that equally share our passion for Caribbean birds, their habitats, and the peoples and cultures that share these islands.

JCO takes pride in our mission to extend help and developmental resources to young, first-time, and/or underserved or disadvantaged authors. Many of our authors are burgeoning students and researchers, are not native English speakers, and have limited access to resources for conducting their work and then developing it for publication. JCO recognizes these obstacles, but will not allow them to be a barrier to publishing good work.

While JCO staff and volunteers strive to be efficient and timely in our work, we are not as concerned about achieving record-breaking publication times for manuscripts as we are about allotting the time and resources necessary to fully develop a strong final product. Each manuscript we receive is unique, and we will treat it as such. Therefore, JCO’s amount of “handling time” per manuscript should be interpreted as a reflection of the effort we and the authors have collectively invested into that manuscript.


Peer Review Process

All manuscripts are sent to 2-3 reviewers who are asked to judge the suitability of the material for publication in JCO.  

Manuscripts are evaluated on the following basis:

* soundness and defensibiliy of the observations and/or experiments

* suitable contribution to Caribbean ornithology

* whether the topic is appropriate for the journal's focus

* clarity of writing


Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.


Ethical Conduct

The Journal of Caribbean Ornithology requires that authors, reviewers, and editorial staff adhere to the highest ethical standards in the conduct of research, manuscript preparation, manuscript review and evaluation.  Failure to adhere to the ethical standards as summarized below may result in consequences as severe as banning authors from publication in the journal and removal of editors from the editorial board

By submitting a manuscript to JCO for consideration for publication, authors attest:

  • The manuscript is the authors’ own original work, which has not been previously published elsewhere.
  • The manuscript is not currently being considered for publication elsewhere.
  • The presented research is reported in an honest and complete manner.
  • The manuscript properly recognizes the contributions of all authors. Authorship is conferred only to those who have made substantial contributions to the research, analyses, and preparation of the manuscript. All authors take public responsibility for the paper’s content. 
  • The work of others is credited with proper literature citations or photo and figure credits. Portions of text from other publications are indicated by quotation marks and citation of the original source.

Ethical treatment of animals and compliance with laws and regulations

  • All studies involving capture, handling, banding, or collection of birds or other animals should be compliant with recognized animal care procedures such as the “Guidelines to the use of wild birds in research” [Fair, J., E. Paul, and J. Jones, Eds. 2010. Guidelines to the Use of Wild Birds in Research. Washington, D.C.: Ornithological Council; birdnet.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/guidelines_august2010.pdf]
  • Research must comply with all applicable laws or regulations of the jurisdiction in which the research occurred. Authors should acknowledge any research permits in the acknowledgment section of the manuscript.

Reviewer and editorial board ethical conduct

  • Reviewers and members of the editorial board should declare any conflicts of interest with the authors of a manuscript prior to agreeing to review. Conflict of interest includes institutional conflict (e.g., author and reviewer are members of the same institution), and personal conflict (e.g., family member, business partner, collaborator on current or previous research [previous three years], supervisor/advisor for graduate student or post-doc). Other types of conflicts may occur and it is the responsibility of the reviewer or editorial board member to acknowledge any potential conflict before providing a review.
  • All reviews are expected to remain confidential with information shared only between reviewers, JCO editorial board members, and authors.

The Journal of Caribbean Ornithology and its editorial staff adhere to the Non-discrimination Policy of BirdsCaribbean: birdscaribbean.org/our-work/about-us/