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 35 years.


The Journal of Caribbean Ornithology (JCO; ISSN 1544-4953) 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). JCO welcomes manuscripts covering the biology, ecology, behavior, life history, and conservation of Caribbean birds and their habitats. JCO also publishes 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. JCO publishes in English, Spanish, or French. All articles include trilingual abstracts.

Publisher and Operations

JCO is published by the non-profit BirdsCaribbean society. JCO is managed by the Editor-in-Chief, the Managing Editor, and the editorial team. The full editorial board, Associate Editors, and staff are listed online and published annually in each volume. Operations are funded through membership fees, donations, and author page charges. All articles are open access without paywall.  

Open Access and Fees

JCO provides immediate and unrestricted open access and is published continuously in annual volumes online at https://jco.birdscaribbean.org. The full JCO archive, starting with Volume 1 in 1988 is available at this site. 

Authors pay moderate page charges that help offset operation costs. Fees are based on article length and may be waived if they represent a barrier to publication. Fee waivers have no impact on editorial decisions.


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 the 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 took over as Managing Editor 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 share our passion for Caribbean birds, their habitats, and the peoples and cultures that share these islands. JCO publishes articles in English, Spanish, and French, and all articles include trilingual abstracts.

JCO places special emphasis on assisting early-career and underserved or disadvantaged authors with manuscript development, including improving organization, clarity, and English grammar and usage. Through our free developmental service, JCO strives to remove barriers to the publication of relevant research. 

Peer Review Process

All manuscripts submitted to JCO undergo a rigorous review process led by an Associate Editor assigned to the submission by the Editorial Team, and includes at least two external reviewers who are experts in the field. External reviewers may choose to remain anonymous. Manuscripts are evaluated on the basis of soundness and defensibiliy of the observations or experiments, clarity of writing, suitable contribution to Caribbean ornithology. Based on external reviews, the Associate Editor and the Editorial Team decide on the suitability of the submitted work and the need for revisions. Decisions can be: (a) minor revisions necessary, (b) major revisions necessary, (c) reject, or (d) reject and encourage re-submission. JCO offers free developmental help for early-career authors and authors with English as a second language (but Spanish and French publications are welcome as well).

Publication Ethics Policies

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.

i) Authorship and contributorship: Authorship requires substantial contributions to the study. Authors are required to specify their contributions in the published article. Minor contributions that don't warrant co-authorship should be acknowledged in the "Acknowledgment" section. After submisssion, changes to authorship or sequence of authors are discouraged. After submission and before eventual publication, JCO will copy all co-authors on email communications with the corresponding author to help avoid any lack of consent regarding the submission and publication. Upon submission, the corresponding author is required to declare that all co-authors have contributed in a substantial manner to the study and have consented to the submission.

ii) Handling of complaints and appeals: Complaints and appeals by an author regarding the handling of a manuscript, editorial decisions made, both pre-and post-publication, will be discussed by the Submissions Board for that submission, including the Editor-in-Chief, the Managing Editor, and the Associate Editor appointed for that submission. Any decision of the board in response to the complaint or appeal occurs at the discretion of the Submissions Board.

iii) Policies on conflicts of interest: Upon submission, authors are required to declare that they have no conflict of interest. If authorship of a submission includes a member of the JCO editorial board or staff, or a close affiliate, that individual will be excluded from the manuscript evaluation and decision process. When recruiting external reviewers, the editorial board strives to avoid individuals closely associated with authors.

iv) Data sharing and reproducibility: The manuscript review process includes mandating authors to provide sufficient details in the "Methods" section and to include sufficient source data to allow reproducibility and adoption of methods in any future investigations and experiments. Manuscripts and the data included are solely shared among members of the editorial board, JCO staff, and external reviewers before publication.

v) Ethical oversight. The corresponding author is required to acknowledge that a submission has not been previously published, nor is it currently with another journal for consideration. Authors are required to declare that their submitted work is original and does not involve misconduct such as plagiarism, citation manipulation, or data falsification or fabrication. Ethical oversight rests with the Editor-in Chief and the Managing Editor in consultation with the editorial board.

vi) Intellectual property: Authors retain copyright and grant BirdsCaribbean and JCO the right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction, provided that the work's authorship and initial publication in JCO is properly acknowledged.

vii) Post-publication corrections: Substantial errors discovered after publication may be subject to the publication of an Erratum note at the discretion of the editorial board and in consultation with the authors (where available). Erratum notes are published in the current volume and will also be appended to an updated version of the original article. If published articles are found to include ethical misconduct, e.g. plagiarism, citation manipulation, data falsification or fabrication, the article may be retracted. Retracted articles are to remain on the platform and clearly marked “retracted” including an explanatory note. Minor and technical updates (such as adding newly issued Digital Object Identifiers) may be published any time post-publication. Any new version of an article will be recognizable by the addition of a "Last Updated" date following the initial date of publication.

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

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/


The full archive, starting with Volume 1 (1988) is available at https://jco.birdscaribbean.org/index.php/jco/issue/archive. JCO is exploring solutions for electronic backup preservation of journal content should the journal or its publisher cease to exist.