At a time when price increases are an all too familiar part of life, it is very pleasing to us and to Macmillan Journals Ltd that, due to the doubling of the number of subscribers in the past two years, the basic subscription price of British Birds can be held steady (at £12) for another year, despite very substantial increases in printing, paper and overhead costs. The concessionary rates to certain categories of subscriber have, however, had to be raised, since they had become completely uneconomic; but the new rates (announced in November, Brit. Birds 72: 554-555) are only 50p higher than the ordinary price five years ago. We hope that all our readers--longstanding and new subscribers alike--continue to support BB. We have no plans to make any radical changes in the journal's format. The new year does, however, bring some changes. The saddest is the loss from the editorial board of one of Britain's best-known and most knowledgeable ornithologists: I. J. Ferguson-Lees. His resignation, effective from 1st January, was known to us in autumn 1979, but we have appointed no replacement on the board. James is, in our view, irreplaceable: the expertise and encyclopedic knowledge which he brought to bear on BB during his 27½ years as a member of the editorial team will be sadly missed. His work has always been meticulous: every aspect of each new topic being considered and then reviewed in the search for perfection. During 1954-72, when he was executive editor, James introduced many new features to BB, brought it up to date and consolidated its position as an internationally respected journal. The heritage of his achievements is still visible each month. Many readers will recall the BB of the 1950s and 1960s with affection and admiration: two emotions which every one of his colleagues, on the editorial board still feels for James. His contribution to European ornithology, in a large measure through his executive editorship of British Birds, has been outstanding; knowing James, we feel sure that his contributions will continue into the future.  

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