The Raven is published twice a year by the VSO to provide an outlet for original articles reporting research on Virginia’s birds and significant sightings of birds in the state. The Raven also publishes the results of studies by VSO members such as the annual breeding bird forays and Christmas Bird Counts, as well as reports of the state bird records committee (VARCOM), book reviews, and other items.

The Raven was first published in 1930, the year after the VSO was founded. It was edited by Dr. J. J. Murray of Lexington, Virginia from its origins until the June 1969 issue. Through 1961 it was a mimeographed bulletin appearing monthly or every other month. In 1962 it became a quarterly publication and appeared in a new, more compact format, similar to its appearance today. From the beginning The Raven included reports on significant observations of birds in Virginia, and early issues also included news items and announcements of the kind that would now be found in the VSO Newsletter.

All VSO members receive a subscription to The Raven as one of the benefits of society membership. 

With financial assistance from the Virginia Society of Ornithology, the Center for Conservation Biology has completed a digital library of 76 volumes The Raven from 1930 through 2013. Click on the photo at left to access this archive.

Teta Kain has also provided two indexes for all The Raven issues, volumes 1 through 74. There is a Title Index (800 KB) and a Bird Index (2MB), Both are in Rich Text Format.

Information for Contributors

The Raven, the official journal of the Virginia Society of Ornithology (VSO), functions to publish original contributions and review articles in ornithology, not published elsewhere, mostly relating to Virginia Birdlife. Manuscripts should be sent to the editor:

Andrew Dolby, 
Chair, Department of Biological Sciences
University of Mary Washington
1301 College Avenue
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Office: Jepson Science Center 327
(adolby@umw.edu).

Most Manuscripts published in The Raven concern the distribution, abundance, and migration of birds in Virginia. Manuscripts on other ornithological topics, including Virginia-based historical reviews, bibliographical reviews, life histories, and behavioral observations are also welcomed. In addition, the journal serves to publish the official proceedings of the VSO and other formal items pertaining to all aspects of the Society's activities. The Raven may also publish articles pertaining to the activities of various public and private organizations engaged in biological and conservation work in Virginia. The Raven is a peer-reviewed journal; all feature articles and short communications are reviewed before acceptance for publication.

Format of The Raven generally follows guidelines set by the Council for Biology editors as outlined in the CBE style manual, 6th edition, 1994(Council of Biology Editors, Inc., 11250 Roger Bacon Dr., Reston, VA 20190). Recent volumes of The Raven should be inspected for style. Vernacular and scientific names of birds should be those published in the Seventh Edition of the A.O.U. Check-list of North American Birds and subsequent supplements. All measurements should be reported in metric units.

Manuscripts should be submitted via email as PDF, Apple TextEdit®, Apple Pages®, or Microsoft Word® file attachments. Manuscripts may also be submitted by regular mail, either on a CD or as typed pages. If typed, the original (manuscript and graphics) must be accompanied by 3 complete copies; after review and acceptance, the final manuscript must be converted by the author(s) to electronic form.  Text files should contain minimal formatting. All graphics (photos, maps, graphs, charts) must be in black and white, with an original size not to exceed 7.5 x 10 inches. Authors are encouraged to consult with the editor on additional matters of content, format or style.