ISSN 0073-3407
printed version
ISSN 1850-4884
online version 

Instructions to authors


Scope and policy


El Hornero publishes original results from research on the biology of birds. Articles may be theoretical or empirical, with field or laboratory data, methodological developments, or papers reviewing information or ideas, referred to any ornithological area. The journal is oriented –but not restricted- to Neotropical birds. Manuscripts should be in Spanish or English. Manuscripts submitted to El Hornero must not have been published or currently be under consideration for publication elsewhere.

Articles are peer reviewed at least by two referees. Names (and address) of two to four potential reviewers may be included, but the decision of work with such reviewers is at the discretion of the Editor. Reviewers will remain confidential, unless a referee decides otherwise. The Editor may reject, before submission to referees, those manuscripts that do not conform the Instructions for Authors, or that are not within the scope of subjects and purposes of El Hornero. A first decision on the manuscript may generally be expected within three months of submission.

The Editor of El Hornero works in co-ordination with the Editor of the sister journal Nuestras Aves, where field records are published. Manuscripts can be transferred between journals, previous notification to the author. El Hornero retains the following kind of information, observations and/or findings: (1)
extensive (i.e., no local) revisions of the distribution of a species or a group of species; (2) new records for Argentina, including records of little known birds (i.e., without recent citations); and (3) new nesting records for Argentina (i.e., first descriptions of nests). Nuestras Aves publishes instead: (1) records of little known birds (but with recent citations); (2) new records (or records of little known birds) for Argentinean provinces; and (3) nesting records for little known species.

El Hornero publishes a colour illustration of a bird species treated in some article. Authors are encouraged to submit suitable colour illustrations.

Contributions may be published in four sections: (1) articles, papers of normal extension that conforms the principal body of the journal; (2) communications, short papers, usually of less than three printed pages; (3) point of view, articles on selected topics of ornithological interest, usually written by invited authors from whom detailed reviews that summarize the present knowledge of a topic or a creative or provocative approach on controversial issues are expected; and (4) book reviews, critical evaluations of recent books and monographs of general interest for ornithologists.



Submission of manuscripts


Manuscripts should be submitted in paper or via electronic mail. Electronic submissions are strongly recommended; in this case, manuscripts will be sent to reviewers electronically to shorten review time. For both kinds of submissions, include a cover letter (or electronic message) with a statement indicating that the manuscript reports on original research not published before and that it is not being considered for publication elsewhere. The Editorial Office of El Hornero is at Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina. Direct all queries and comments related with the manuscript or with editorial topics to the Editor: Javier López de Casenave, Depto. Ecología, Genética y Evolución, FCEyN, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Piso 4, Pab. 2, Ciudad Universitaria, C1428EHA Buenos Aires, Argentina. Electronic mail:

In paper submissions, include three copies of all material, including text, tables, and figures. It is not necessary to submit original photographs; good quality photocopies are adequate until the manuscript has been accepted, when originals will be requested. Provide an e-mail address for the corresponding author.

Electronic submissions should be as attached files. Manuscripts should be in a word-processor (preferably MS Word) file. It should be in RTF format (Rich Text Format, available in the "Save as" option of most word processors). Name your files with short and easily identifiable words (e.g., name of the first author), avoiding accents and "ñ". Figures and tables should be constructed, inserted or pasted at the end of the document, each on a different page and with its legend (see details in "Tables and figures" below). If there is more than one file for the manuscript, add at the end of the file name any necessary identification.



Preparation of manuscripts


Authors should read these instructions carefully before preparing a manuscript for submission to El Hornero. Submit manuscript in A4 paper size (210 x 297 mm); for electronic submissions format the electronic document for A4 paper size. Leave at least 2.5 cm for all margins, and print on only one side of good quality paper. Use an ordinary 12-points serif typeset (Courier New, Times New Roman or similar) and double line spacing (including abstract, tables, legends and bibliography). Number all pages, including text, tables and figures. Headings and footnotes should be avoided. Do not indent paragraphs or titles. Use left alignment and do not hyphenate. Do not use the carriage return (enter or return) at the end of lines within a paragraph. Use two returns at the end of paragraphs (i.e., one empty line between paragraphs). Use consistent punctuation; insert only a single space between words and after punctuation. If possible, number the lines of text (in the left margin) to facilitate the work of reviewers and Editor.

Assemble the parts of the manuscript in this order: (1) cover page (page 1), (2) abstract in the paper's language (pg. 2), (3) abstract in the alternative language (English or Spanish) (pg. 3), (4) text, (5) literature cited, (6) tables, (7) figure legends, (8) figures.

Cover page

Number as page 1. Cover page must contain (in this order): (1) the complete title (do not use all capital letters and make it as short as possible) in the paper’s language and in the alternative language; (2) complete names of authors; (3) institutional affiliation and postal address of each author during the period when the research was carried out, identifying the corresponding author; (4) electronic mail of the corresponding author; (5) present address of each author if it is different from (3); (6) short title (not longer than 50 characters including spaces).

Abstract and resumen

Number the abstract in the paper's language as page 2, and the abstract in the alternative language as page 3. The abstract should be concise and informative rather than descriptive, and intelligible without reference to the manuscript’s text. The abstract often is the most widely read part of a paper; as such, it should be prepared with care and dedication. Include the purpose of the study, the major findings and main conclusions. The abstract should be in a single paragraph (no longer than 250 words for articles; no longer than 100 in communications). Do not include statistical information or bibliographic citations in the abstract. The abstract in the alternative language should be an accurate translation of the abstract in the paper's language. Include four to eight key words in alphabetical order after the abstract (and its own palabras claves in Spanish). Choose key words carefully; a good election will be useful as an entry point for a search in the journal’s index.

Text - general

Begin text on page 4. Write with precision, clarity, and economy. Use the active voice and first person where appropriate. Give the Latin names of the species in full at their first mention (in the abstract as well as in the text), even after a full mention in the title. Genera names may be abbreviated to a single letter thereafter (or two, if needed) if no confusion will result. Do not give subspecific identification unless it is pertinent and has been critically determined. Scientific names should follow the usage of the Handbook of the birds of the world (del Hoyo, Elliott y Sargatal; Lynx Edicions, Barcelona), or the
Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Argentina (Mazar Barnett y Pearman; 2001, Lynx Edicions, Barcelona) for families still uncovered by the Handbook. When using other source, the election should be justified in the text and cited in the references. Common names of Argentinean birds should follow the usage of the Lista patrón de los nombres comunes de las aves argentinas (Navas et al.; 1995, Asociación Ornitológica del Plata, Buenos Aires). Common names of birds are capitalized (e.g., Burrowing Parrot), whereas generic mentions are not (e.g., "the parrot flew").

Italics should be used exclusively for scientific names (never underlined), to refer to other sections of the manuscript (e.g., "see Methods" or "is shown in Results"), and for the following Latin terms: in vivo, in vitro, in utero, in situ, ad libitum, a priori y a posteriori. Use "e.g.," (for example), "i.e.," (that is) and "et al." (and others) without italics. Do not use bold fonts.

Use "." (period) as decimal symbol. Insert a space to separate thousands digits in numbers greater than 9999. Use leading zeroes (at the left) with all number lesser than 1, including probability values (e.g., P < 0.001). Numbers from zero to nine should be spelled out in the text, except when used with units or in percentages (e.g., two thrushes, 12 penguins, 4 g, 5 days, 3.5%). If number is in a series with at least one number being 10 or more, then use all numerals (e.g., 6 males and 13 females). At the beginning of a phrase always spell out numbers (e.g., "Thirty-two coots..."). Use 24 hours time format, with ":" as separator (e.g., 15:45 h). Use day, month and year as date format (e.g., 22 June 1996). English names of months are capitalized; these may be abbreviated with their first three letters and capitalized (e.g., May, Aug) if needed in tables or figures. Give years in full (e.g., 1994­–1999). Always indicate geographic coordinates of study area; these should be indicated as: 34º03’S, 67º54’W.

Define all symbols, abbreviations and acronyms the first time they are used. However, minimize their use: the reader must memorize it in order to follow your paper. In the text, when only one unit appears in a denominator, use the solidus or slash "/" (e.g., g/m2 ); for two or more units in a denominator, use negative exponents (e.g., g.m-2.h-1). Use the International System of Units (SI). Use "L" instead of "l" for liter. Use "h" for hours, "min" for minutes, "s" for seconds, and do not abbreviate "day". "Meters above sea level" should be abbreviated as "masl". Designate temperature in Celsius (e.g., 46°C). Mathematical expressions should be carefully represented. If possible, please format formulae in their final version (for example, you may use the equations editor included in MS Word or in WordPerfect); otherwise, make them understandable enough to be formatted during typesetting (e.g., use underlining for fractions and type numerator and denominator in different lines).

Use the following statistical abbreviations italicized: n, x, y, x, P, r, R2, F, G, t, Z and U (and, in general, all symbols for variables and constants). Symbols should be italicized in the illustrations to match the text. Use the following statistical and mathematical abbreviations without italics: ln, e, exp, max, min, lim, SD, SE, CV, df, ANOVA, ns, c2 (and, in general, all Greek letters). Names of statistical tests usually are capitalized.

Each table and figure must be referenced in the text, and numbered in the order in which they appear in the manuscript. Use "Fig.", "Figs.", "Table" or "Tables" when quoted in parentheses (e.g., Fig. 2, Tables 1 y 2), but the colloquial forms "figure", "figures", "table" or "tables" in the main text (e.g., "in the figure 2", "as in tables 1 and 2"). Avoid repeating information among tables, figures, and text. Nomenclature, abbreviations, symbols, and units used in a figure should match those used in the text.

Cite references in the text without comma between author and year when quoted in parentheses, using "and" between two authors, "et al." for citations with three or more authors ("al." always with period), and comma between citations by the same or different authors (e.g., Wiens 1989, 1999, Wiens and Rotenberry 1991, Wiens et al. 1993). List multiple citations in chronological, not alphabetical, order; when more than one paper from the same author are cited, it should be together (as shown above). Use lower-case letters to distinguish between two papers by the same authors in the same year (e.g., Wiens and Rotenberry 1980a, 1980b). This distinction must be also present in the "Literature Cited" list. You may refer to specific pages in a work by putting, in the text, the page numbers after the year (e.g., Wiens 1983:400); in the "Literature Cited" list, the reference should be to the entire work. The expressions "in litt." and "op. cit."should be avoided. The following form should be used: (Holmes 1981, cited in Wiens 1989); both should appear in full in the reference list. Manuscripts that are accepted for publication but not yet published must be cited as "in press", and unpublished materials as "unpublished data", "pers. obs." (personal observation) o "pers. com." (personal communication), always attributed to its author.

Text - organization

Organize your manuscript with internal headings, using up to three hierarchical levels. Type first-order headings (in capital letters) and second-order headings (in lower-case letters) in separate lines. Try to keep them short so that they will fit within a single column (aprox. 30 characters, including spaces, for first-order headings, and 40 characters for second-order ones). Third-order headings must be in italics, with period and followed by a dash, in the same paragraph as the following text. Preferred first-order headings are (in order): Methods, Results, Discussion, Acknowledgements, and Literature Cited. Note that there is no heading for the introduction. Communications may not require internal headings.

The first section of the manuscript (introduction), without heading (see above), should provide the aims and significance of the research and place it within the framework of existing knowledge on the subject. State explicitly your objectives. Including your data in a theoretical background and/or in a hypothetical-deductive scheme usually will redound in a more appealing article.

Methods.- This section should provide enough information for the reader to be able to critically evaluate the research. Study area may be described within this section. Describe data-collection procedures as well as statistical analyses used. Avoid the development of test’s features and the operational steps; usually only the reasons for the election and the relevant literature citations are necessary.

Results.- This section should include only results pertinent to the objectives, questions or hypotheses raised in the introductory section and treated later in the discussion. The text must not duplicate information presented in tables or figures. The text should make clear the sample sizes, degrees of freedom, values of statistical tests, and P-values. Be clear when describing the variables under consideration. If possible, include mean values with the corresponding dispersion measures (SE or SD).

Discussion.- It is useful to start this section with one or two brief sentences that summarize the main results of the study. Then, the discussion should develop the significance and importance of these results, especially in relation to previous researches. The discussion should follow the same logical scheme of the objectives, questions or hypotheses raised in the introductory section and the results presented. Additional results and analysis are usually inappropriate in this section; they should be treated in the section of results. In the elaboration of the discussion, you should consider the use of a good dose of both healthy scepticism and critical attitude.

Acknowledgements.- Keep them short and specific to direct contributions to the paper and the research involved. Use the name of the people you acknowledge, but do not include their institutional affiliation.


Before submitting the manuscript, check each citation in the text against the literature cited to see that they match exactly (authors and date) and that they conform the required format. All publications cited in the text must be included in the list of references and vice versa. Verify all entries against original sources, especially journal titles, volume and page numbers, and year of publication. Include authors’ complete names in the list of references.

References should be ordered alphabetically. For complicated surnames, the capital letter usually indicates the alphabetical order (e.g., A Di Giacomo under "D", but M de la Peña under "P"). Where several references correspond to the same authors, they should be placed in chronological order in the list. If there is more than one reference by the same series of authors they should be listed in alphabetical order of the subsequent authors, and then chronologically.

Citations must follow the format below:

Trejo A, Ojeda V and Sympson L (2001) First nest records of the White-throated Hawk (Buteo albigula) in Argentina. Journal of Raptor Research 35:169-170

Mezquida ET and Marone L (2000) Breeding biology of Gray-crowned Tyrannulet in the Monte Desert, Argentina. Condor 102:205-210

Dunning JB Jr (1990) Meeting the assumptions of foraging models: an example using tests of avian patch choice. Studies in Avian Biology 13:462-470

Books, chapters, proceedings, theses (and other material) must follow the format below:

Niemi G, Hanowski J, Helle P, Howe R, Mönkkönen M, Venier L and Welsh D (1998) Ecological sustainability of birds in boreal forests. Conservation Ecology 2(2):17 (URL:

Bosque CA (1984) Structure and diversity of arid zone bird communities in Venezuela. PhD dissertation, University of Washington, Seattle

Burger J and Gochfeld M (1996) Family Laridae (gulls). Pp. 572-623 in: del Hoyo J, Elliott A and Sargatal J (eds) Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 3. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona

Cueto VR (1996) Relación entre los ensambles de aves y la estructura de la vegetación. Un análisis a tres escalas espaciales. Doctoral thesis, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires

de la Peña MR (1994) Guía de aves Argentinas. Tomo 3. Second edition. L.O.L.A., Buenos Aires

Ridgely RS and Tudor G (1994) The birds of South America. Volume 2. University of Texas Press, Austin

Wiens JA and Rotenberry JT (1980a) Bird community structure in cold shrub deserts: competition or chaos? Pp. 1063-1070 in: Nohring R (ed) Actis XVII Congressus Internationalis Ornithologici. Deutsche Ornithologen-Gesellschaft, Berlín

Type authors’ names with small caps (do not use capital letters), without period after each initial of an author’s name. These initials must be always following the author’s surname.

Use "and" (or "y" for manuscripts in Spanish) before the last author, irrespective of the language of the cited article. Type the year of publication in parentheses. For papers still in press, use "in press" to replace the date, and consider them as the latest in the chronological order, with the name of journal included. Journal titles should be written in full and not abbreviated, in italics. Cite articles in edited journals (e.g., Current Ornithology, Studies in Avian Biology) as journals rather than edited volumes (as shown above). Type volume number, but do not include issue number. Avoid the full stop (period) in references.

Do not include in the references abstracts, unpublished material or reports not widely distributed and easily available.

All book titles should be spelled out completely, in lower-case letters, in italics. Provide the publisher’s name and location, both in lower-case letters without italics; separate them with comma and without full stop (period). Do not include total number of pages. Use "in" (or "en" for manuscripts in Spanish) after pages in book chapters, irrespective of the language of the cited chapter. Book Editors’ names should be cited in the same format as the names of articles’ authors. Titles of theses and dissertations must be in lower-case letters, in italics. Provide name and city of the university, both in lower-case letters without italics; separate them with comma and without full stop (period). Do not include total number of pages.

Tables and figures

Make tables and figures understandable without reference to the text. Do not include any type of information in tables that is not discussed in the text of the manuscript. Never repeat the same material in figures and tables; when either is equally clear, a figure is preferable. Check numbers of tables and figures (Arabic numerals) against their references in the text. Legends should be exhaustive; include information about the location where data were obtained or the referred taxa. All legends should use a similar style.

Each table must start on a separate numbered page, after its legend. The table should be typed double-spaced throughout (as the rest of the manuscript, including legends). Keep tables as simple as possible. Do not use an excessive number of digits when writing a decimal number; they should reflect the precision of the measurements. Do not divide tables in two or more parts. Do not use vertical lines and try to minimize the horizontal ones. Include horizontal lines above and below headings, and at end of table. You should use tables in recent issues of El Hornero as a guideline. Tables should be prepared in table format with the word–processor. If this is not possible, separate each field or data with tabs (never with spaces). Tables structured for column width (70 mm) is preferred over those for page width (145 mm).

Each figure must occupy a separate numbered page, after a page grouping all figures’ legends ("Figure legends"). Figures should not be boxed; try to minimize the number of lines (e.g., do not draw top and right lines in an ordinary scatterplot). Do not use titles on the graphs. Refer to keys and other explanations by name in the figure legend (i.e., do not include symbols themselves in the legend, only their reference), except when the description becomes difficult. Do not send colour figures. Use black, white (open) and bold hatching for bars and symbols. Try to avoid grey shades or use them as distinctly as possible (only 50%, or 25%, 50% and 75%). Use of tones and shades, especially within boxes, make the design and printing difficult. Preferred symbols are open or closed black circles, squares and triangles. Symbols should be of approximately 1.5 mm in their final size. Nomenclature, abbreviations, symbols, and units used in a figure should match those used in the text (including use of italics). All figures should use a similar style. Do not use three-dimensional graphs. Include north, graphic scale and coordinates in maps. Figures prepared for column width (70 mm) are preferred over page width (145 mm). Figures can be submitted in a larger format, but they should be designed at final size in their original software. Use a letter size of 8 points in axes and for units, with Arial typography capitalizing only the initial letters. Avoid the use of too many values in axes.

In paper submissions, it is not necessary to submit a final-quality version of the figures; good quality photocopies are adequate until the manuscript has been accepted, when originals will be requested. Each figure should have the number written in pencil on the page.

In electronic submissions, if possible, include the figures in your word–processed file, pasting them (by using the clipboard) as "image" or Windows Metafile Format (WMF) on different pages of the document. For example, in MS Word for Windows you can (1) copy the image from the original application and then paste it in the word-processor, using the "Edit/Paste special…" command, and selecting "Image" as the format to paste, or (2) create a WMF file with the image, available as "Export" or "Save as…" options in most graphic packages, and then insert it in the word–processor file using "Insert/Image/From file..." command. As detailed above, the image must be at its final size (70 mm wide preferred). Do make sure that the image in the word–processor file adjusts to what you expect (e.g., texts and symbols sizes); it helps to design the figures at final size in the original software. If made in Excel, Corel Draw, Statistica for Windows, Sigma Plot or KyPlot, in addition to the figures in the word–processor file, please also send the original file/s.

If you cannot follow these procedures, you can paste or insert the figures in the word-processed file as a bitmap (TIFF format is preferred; GIF, PCX or BMP are also acceptable) of 600 dpi, in greyscale depth (8 bits) and the final estimated size (better for one column wide of 70 mm, not more than 145 mm wide). You may get the bitmap from the original application (graphics and drawing packages usually provide an export option) or by scanning a good quality print of your figure. Please also send the original file/s. Supplying uncompressed TIFFs is preferable but, if the image size is very large, compressed versions are acceptable (LZW, ZIP, ARJ).

For figures consisting of more than one element (e.g., parts a, b and c), please supply the different parts separately (i.e., paste or insert them separately on the same word-processor page). The reason for this is that the components of the figure may require some modification of their layout. Each figure should be centred on a different page and at final size with the correct orientation.

If you find any problems in applying the above methods, you can contact the Editor by e-mail for help and/or specifications.

Photographs should only be included if they convey information that is essential to the understanding of the article. They should be "clear" and have high contrast. Name and number them as figures. In electronic submissions, they should be sent as files, scanned at greyscale (8 bits) depth at least at 300 dpi, preferably for a final size of one column (70 mm wide). They should be saved as TIFF (.tif) or GIF (.gif) files, available as exporting formats in most graphic and scanning packages. Supplying uncompressed TIFFs is preferable but, if the image size is very large, compression softwares are acceptable (LZW, ZIP, ARJ).



Editorial process


After the first revision, the manuscript will be returned to the corresponding author for the requested changes. The corrected manuscript must be returned to the Editor within 30 days, preferably via electronic mail (see specifications above). If not possible, submit a paper version along with a 3.5 inches diskette containing the word-processor version of the manuscript. Accepted manuscripts will be published directly from a word-processor file. Revised manuscripts require a cover letter (or message) indicating how and where the reviewers’ commentaries were incorporated. The corrected manuscript will be evaluated by the Editor, who will correct the text himself to conform to scientific, technical, stylistic or grammatical standards, and will notify to the corresponding author of the final acceptance.

Page proofs will be sent to the main author, shortly before printing, as an "Adobe Acrobat portable document" format (PDF) file. The Acrobat file retains font, page layout and graphics information; it can be delivered across networks, viewed on screen and printed from most PC platforms. You will need the "Adobe Acrobat Reader" in order to view these files; if you do not have one, you may download a free copy from Typeset proofs, which include final corrections by the Editor, are checked before they are sent to the authors; however, it is the exclusive responsibility of the authors to review page proofs carefully and check for omissions or errors. Special attention should be given to bibliographical citations, formulae, results of statistical tests, data in tables, and scientific names. Authors should not expect to make major modifications at this stage. Authors should return their corrections via electronic mail to the Editor before a week since the page proofs were sent; if not, the manuscript will be printed as in the page proofs.

Ten reprints are given free to the corresponding author of each article, after publication.



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© 2009  Asociación Ornitológica del Plata

Depto. de Ecología, Genética y Evolución, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires
Piso 4, Pab. 2, Ciudad Universitaria
(C1428EHA) - Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires
República Argentina

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