About The Ohio Cardinal
The Ohio Cardinal is the journal of record for observers of Ohio's bird life. Since 1978, this quarterly has presented extensive organized reports of bird observations season by season. These records now number many tens of thousands and form a substantial source of data for the study of the abundance and distribution of our avifauna.
Contributors are the life-blood of the Cardinal, and we eagerly solicit your bird sightings and related records, photographs, artwork, notes, and articles for possible inclusion in the journal. Queries are always welcomed by the editor.
A subscription to the Cardinal is included among the benefits of membership in the Ohio Ornithological Society.
A sample issue of the Cardinal may be viewed here.
Indexes to The Ohio Cardinal
An index of articles that have appeared in the Cardinal may be viewed here.
Archived issues of The Ohio Cardinal
Archived issues of theCardinal may be viewed here.
Contributing to the Cardinal
The Ohio Cardinal would not exist without contributions from readers. In each issue appear compilations based on bird reports of the season from hundreds of Ohio observers. In addition, readers provide photographs, articles and short notes, and corrections and comments. Every issue is in many ways a cooperative enterprise. Here are hints about how best to send contributions.
Guidelines for bird reports
Every report has five basic elements: name(s) of observer(s), date of observation, location, species observed, and number of individuals involved. In addition, it may be helpful to provide relevant details such as plumages, age/sex of birds, and unusual behaviors, conditions or habitats. The Cardinal will very seldom publish reports of Review Species (Ohio rarities) without supporting documentation, preferably sent to the Ohio Bird Records Committee, and the names of reporters of rarities will appear only after the relevant documentation is accepted in a peer review process. This is to help ensure that the published record avoids important errors, and to avoid ever embarrassing contributors. For more information on the Records Committee and the review process, follow the links on the left side of the screen.
The Editor regularly reviews various internet sources as well as other publications for sightings reports, and in some cases may get in touch with the reporter for details or clarification. Many reporters prefer to submit comprehensive seasonal reports on a quarterly basis directly to the Editor; in this case we especially welcome reports composed in current taxonomic order. As always, every record published will be attributed to the reporter.
Deadlines for seasonal reports each year are as follows:
- Winter (Dec, Jan, Feb) - 21 March
- Spring (Mar, Apr, May) - 21 June
- Summer (Jun, Jul) - 21 August
- Fall (Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov) - 21 December
Guidelines for photos and artwork
Cover images (front, back, and their insides) are printed in color. Images which accompany the text are reproduced in black and white. Except with prior approval, only digital image files can be accepted. Inform the Editor of any electronic manipulation that has affected the appearance of the image. Pencil or pen and ink drawings are also appropriate; for these, originals or high- resolution scans are equally welcome. Ask the Editor first about non-standard submissions. All original materials will be returned if requested; please remember to send your postal mailing address.
Guidelines for authors
Authors of short notes, such as relatively brief accounts of an interesting observation or series of observations, or a new local record, should send them directly to the Editor.
Longer manuscripts, generally 2,000 to 4,000 words, are encouraged. These manuscripts may be sent out for peer review in order to assess the content. Much longer articles (up to 10,000 words) may also be considered; authors should query the Editor ahead of time to ensure that the topic is a needed one and to learn about options, requirements, etc. specific to their work. We prefer submissions as Microsoft Word documents, but also gladly accept manuscripts, typed or hand-written, from those without such capabilities.
We are always interested in articles about these topics: book and media reviews, field identification, bird-finding, changes in status of certain species, historical research, bird surveys, conservation issues, and unusual phenomena affecting birds. An Ohio focus or angle is recommended but not always required. The Editor will gladly entertain queries about unusual topics or novel approaches to the subject of the wild birds of Ohio.
Please send all inquiries, contributions, etc., to the Editor:
1270 West Melrose Drive
Westlake, OH 44145
Style and Conventions
Please refer to the sample issue above for examples of style used in The Ohio Cardinal. One deviation from this format is that we now capitalize all common bird names, following the guidelines of the North American Classification Committee of the American Ornithologists' Union. Four-letter banding codes and other abbreviations should not be used. In order to conserve space in repetitive material, the Reports use many abbreviations not resorted to elsewhere: the less intuitive of these are explained in each issue at the foot of the Overview section.