Australian Field Ornithology journal

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Subject: Australian Field Ornithology journal
From: "Murray Lord" <>
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2010 20:34:02 +1100
When the possible merger of Birds Australia and BOCA was being discussed a few 
weeks ago, a couple people mentioned the future of the journal Australian Field 

I have not been a BOCA member for many years.  It was only recently I realised 
that it's possible to subscribe to AFO without being a BOCA member, and I did 
so.  More than any other journal in Australia, I think AFO should appeal to 
birding-aus subscribers who want to learn more, and contribute to knowledge of 
our birds.  Many articles detailing records of rare birds are published; for 
instance the current issue contains articles on the first records for Australia 
of Asian Brown Flycatchers and Grey Nightjars.  Other articles include a review 
article on Black necked Storks by Greg Clancy, one on historic grasswren 
records and observations on Red Goshawk biology.  A couple of the articles are 
available as free samples at

The future of AFO is in doubt, and the lack of subscribers is the main problem. 
 Fewer than 10% of BOCA's members subscribe to it, and I would encourage more 
people to support it.  Subscription for non members is $32 per year.  Given the 
decline in state based ornithological journals in recent years there is 
arguably more need than ever to support this journal.

Hopefully if the organisations do merge, the increased membership could allow 
the journal to become more viable.  There is plenty of room for Emu, AFO and 
either Wingspan or the Bird Observer.  AFO does not compete with any of BA's 
current publications.  And even if the merger does not go ahead, I would hope 
Birds Australia could offer subscriptions to AFO as an option to its members, 
in order to encourage its survival.

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