Journal of African Ornithology

ISSN: 0030-6525 (Print)
            1727-947X (Online)
Publication frequency: 3 issues per year

Impact Factor: 0.418 (2015)
5-year Impact Factor: 0.380 (2015)

Accredited with the DHET (SAPSE)

Official scientific journal of BirdLife South AfricaCo-published with Taylor & FrancisClick here for Open Access options on this journal

Aims & Scope

Ostrich: Journal of African Ornithology is a scientific journal published by NISC in association with BirdLife South Africa. Ostrich is an international journal that publishes papers in the general field of ornithology in Africa and its islands. The journal publishes peer-reviewed original scientific papers (3 000 to 10 000 words) and short articles of <2 000 words. Results of studies of the behaviour, biology, breeding, ecology, migrations and movements, and systematics of birds are published. Extended taxonomic reviews will not be considered unless they include relevant discussion of behavioural or ecological criteria.


Scientific Editor

Dr Alan Lee
DST-NRF Centre of Excellence at the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town
e-mail: alan.tk.lee@googlemail.com

Associate Editors

Dr Mark Brown School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
Dr Alexandre Caron CIRAD - UPR AGIRs. Department Environment and Societies, Harare, Zimbabwe
Dr Robert JM Crawford Department of Environmental Affairs, Cape Town, South Africa, and Animal Demography Unit, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Dr Genevieve Jones Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Dr Rob Little Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Dr Michel Louette Zilversparrenstraat 23, B 8310, Brugge, Belgium
Prof. Ara Monadjem Department of Biological Sciences, University of Swaziland, Swaziland
Dr Graeme Oatley Department of Zoology and Anthropology, Palacký University of Olomouc, Czech Republic
Dr Ulf Ottosson Ottenby Bird Observatory, Degerhamn, Sweden
Dr Amanda Ridley Centre for Evolutionary Biology, University of Western Australia, Australia
Dr Lizanne Roxburgh Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Richard Sherley Animal Demography Unit and Marine Research Institute, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Dr Stuart Taylor The School of Science, Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand                 Dr J. Kemper African Penguin Conservation Project, Namibia                                                                                                                                   Dr Soladaye B. Iwajomo Ecotoxicology and Conservation Unit, University of Lagos

Book Review Editors

Prof. Colleen T Downs School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Susan Mvungi Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

Abstract Translators

Dr Saad Hanane Forest Research Centre, Chariae Omar Ibn Al Khattab, BP 763, Rabat-Agdal, Morocco
Dr Imad Cherkaoui Moulay Ismail University (Ecole Supérieure de Technologie de Khénifra), Morocco

Social Media Manager

Chevonne Reynolds Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa


All manuscripts presented in accordance with instructions to authors should be
submitted to the online at the Ostrich: Journal of African Ornithology ScholarOne Manuscripts site (http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/tost).

Publishing Manager

Contact regarding all aspects relating to the production of the journal, including scheduling and copyright issues:

Mike Schramm
NISC (Pty) Ltd
4 Speke Street
PO Box 377
Grahamstown 6140
South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)46 622 9698
Fax: +27 (0)46 622 9550
e-mail: publishing@nisc.co.za

Published in association with BirdLife South Africa:

BirdLife South Africa (http://www.birdlife.org.za/) is the lead organisation in South Africa for everyone interested in birds and their survival. It has 8 000 members in 40 branches and affiliates throughout South Africa. Their mission is to promote the enjoyment, conservation and understanding and study of wild birds and their habitat. BirdLife South Africa runs national and branch programmes on conservation, education, training and awareness.

For more information about membership to BirdLife South Africa contact:

The Secretariat
PO Box 515
Randburg 2125
South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)11 789 1122
Fax: +27 (0)11 789 5188
e-mail: membership@birdlife.co.za

Latest Issue

Volume 87, Issue 3, 2016


Population estimates of the breeding birds of the Tinhosas islands (Gulf of Guinea), the only major seabird colony of the eastern tropical Atlantic
Author(s): Simon ValleDivision of Biology and Conservation Ecology, School of Science and the Environment, UK, Nuno BarrosPortuguese Society for the Study of Birds, Marine Department, Portugal, Iván RamírezBirdLife International, Belgium, Ross M WanlessSeabird Division, BirdLife South Africa, South Africa
Pages: 209–215
Habitat associations of birds at Mara Naboisho Conservancy, Kenya
Author(s): Ara MonadjemAll Out Africa Research Unit, Department of Biological Sciences, Swaziland, Munir Z ViraniThe Peregrine Fund, Kenya
Pages: 225–230
Hierarchical analysis of Swainson’s Spurfowl Pternistis swainsonii habitat use on Highveld maize and livestock farms
Author(s): Johann H van NiekerkDepartment of Environmental Sciences, College of Agriculture and Environmental Science, South Africa
Pages: 231–240
Comparative performance of four survey methods for assessing Lilian’s Lovebird abundance in Liwonde National Park, Malawi
Author(s): Tiwonge I MzumaraSchool of Life Sciences, South Africa, Michael R PerrinSchool of Life Sciences, South Africa, Colleen T DownsSchool of Life Sciences, South Africa
Pages: 247–253
Seasonal use of remnant forest fragments by understorey forest birds in the Uluguru Mountains, Tanzania: a conservation priority
Author(s): Chacha WeremaDepartment of Zoology and Wildlife Conservation, Tanzania, Kim M HowellDepartment of Zoology and Wildlife Conservation, Tanzania, Henry J NdangalasiDepartment of Botany, Tanzania
Pages: 255–262

Research Article

Wintering waterbird assemblages in the central part of the Gulf of Gabès in southern Tunisia
Author(s): Foued HamzaDépartement des Sciences de la Vie, Faculté des Sciences de Gabès, Tunisia, Abdessalem HammoudaDépartement des Sciences de la Vie, Faculté des Sciences de Gabès, Tunisia, Slaheddine SelmiDépartement des Sciences de la Vie, Faculté des Sciences de Gabès, Tunisia
Pages: 217–223

Short Communication

Geographically widespread mitochondrial lineages of the African saw-wings inconsistent with species boundaries
Author(s): Lisa N BarrowDepartment of Biological Science, USA, Desiré L DaltonNational Zoological Gardens of South Africa, South Africa, Antoinette KotzéNational Zoological Gardens of South Africa, South Africa, Steven W EvansSARCHI Chair on Biodiversity Value and Change, School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences, South Africa
Pages: 271–275
Alarming decline and range reduction of the highly threatened Great Bustard Otis tarda in Morocco
Author(s): Juan Carlos AlonsoDepartment of Evolutionary Ecology, Spain, Carlos PalacínDepartment of Evolutionary Ecology, Spain, Alejandro OnrubiaFundación MIGRES, Spain, Rachid AboulouafaeSPCDRN/DREFLCD du Rif, Haut Commissariat aux Eaux et Forêts et à la Lutte Contre la Désertification (HCEFLCD), Morocco, Mohamed AmezianGREPOM Unité régionale Tanger-Tétouan, Morocco, Abdelaziz El Idrissi EssougratiGREPOM Unité régionale de Rabat, Morocco, Rachid El KhamlichiGREPOM Unité régionale Tanger-Tétouan, Morocco, Mohamed NoamanService de la Conservation de la Flore et de la Faune Sauvage, Morocco
Pages: 277–280
Birds and biogeography of Mount Mecula in Mozambique’s Niassa National Reserve
Author(s): Claire N SpottiswoodeDepartment of Zoology, UK, Lincoln DC FishpoolBirdLife International, UK, Julian L BaylissDepartment of Zoology, UK
Pages: 281–284
Observed instances of alarm calling in the Cape Rockjumper
Author(s): Krista N OswaldDepartment of Zoology, South Africa
Pages: 285–288


Of robins and Rachmaninov: a tribute to Terry Oatley
Author(s): Jenny FreemanSelfDesign Graduate Institute, Western Washington University, USA
Pages: 289–292
Gordon Lindsay Maclean (1937–2008)
Author(s): Adrian JFK CraigDepartment of Zoology and Entomology, South Africa
Pages: 293–294

Book Review

Parrots of Africa, Madagascar and the Mascarene Islands
Author(s): Adrian JFK CraigDepartment of Zoology and Entomology, South Africa
Pages: 295–296


Instructions for Authors

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Author FAQ


Instructions for Authors

The journal will publish refereed scientific papers and short communications (<2 000 words) containing the results of original work and review articles within the general field of ornithology in Africa and its islands. Extended taxonomic reviews will not be considered unless they include relevant discussion of behavioural or ecological criteria; if in doubt, please consult the Scientific Editor. Reviews of relevant books will also be published. All communications, with the exception of book reviews, will be scrutinised by referees.

Editorial policy: Contributions must conform to the principles outlined in Ethical Considerations in Research Publication available for download below. Submission of a manuscript implies that the material has not been published previously, nor is it being submitted elsewhere for publication. Submission of a manuscript will be taken to imply transfer of copyright of the material to the publishers, NISC. Contributions are accepted on the understanding that the authors have the authority for publication. Material published in this journal may not be reprinted, published in translation or mounted on any electronic repository without the express permission of the publishers, NISC (Pty) Ltd.

Manuscripts: All manuscripts should follow the manuscript format outlined below and will be returned to the authors if not. Manuscripts should be submitted in English in MS Word via Ostrich: Journal of African Ornithology ScholarOne Manuscripts site. New users should first create an account. Once a user is logged onto the site submissions should be made via the Author Centre. Should you have difficulty submitting material online, please notify the Scientific Editor, Dr Lizanne Roxburgh, at ostrich@nisc.co.za. A recent issue of Ostrich should be consulted for general layout and style.

Manuscript format: Sections — All pages must be numbered consecutively, including those containing the references, tables and figures. Authors must also insert line numbering. Text should be divided into the following sections and appear in this order:
(1) Abstract (not exceeding 200 words)
(2) Keywords
(3) Introduction
(4) Materials and methods
(5) Results
(6) Discussion
(7) Acknowledgements
(8) References
(9) Tables
(10) Appendices
(11) Figure legends
(12) Figures
Short Communications should include an Abstract and Keywords.

Figures — Ensure figures conform to the journal style. Pay particular attention to line thickness, font and figure proportions, taking into account the journals printed page size. Costs of redrawing figures may be charged. Please refer to Figure Guidelines for Authors: format, technical considerations and style available for download below. For digital photographs or scanned images the resolution should be at least 300 dpi for colour or greyscale artwork and a minimum of 600 dpi for black line drawings. These can be saved (in order of preference) as PSD, TIFF, EPS, PDF or JPEG files. Graphs, charts or maps should be exported as AI, WMF, EMF, EPS, PDF or SVG files. MS Powerpoint and Excel files are acceptable. If submitting figures in a MS Word document use ‘Insert Picture from File’ (do not copy and paste, or embed the artwork). More detailed technical information is given in Figure Guidelines for Authors. Illustrations can be reproduced in colour, but only when essential, and subject to approval by the Editor-in-Chief. Non-essential use of colour will be charged at ZAR900 (excl. VAT) per page for African contributors and USD150 per page for contributors from elsewhere.

Tables — Each table, numbered with Arabic numerals in the order in which they are to appear, must be on a separate page with the table number and an appropriate stand-alone caption. Tables may include up to five horizontal lines but no vertical lines.

References — References to literature within an article must be arranged chronologically in the following forms: Swart (1972); Swart (1972a, 1972b); Swart and White (1973); Swart (1972, 1973); (Swart 1970, Smith 1971). For more than two authors, use the first author’s name followed by et al. (e.g. Urban et al. 1997). At the end of the manuscript list references alphabetically and then chronologically, using full journal titles, and adhere to the following formats:

Payne RB, Payne LL. 1997. Field observations, experimental design, and the time and place of learning in bird songs. In: Snowdon C, Hausberger M (eds), Social influences on vocal development. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp 57–84.

Urban EK, Fry CH, Keith S (eds). 1997. The birds of Africa, vol. 5. London: Academic Press.

Vergara P, Aguirre JI, Fernández-Cruz M. 2007. Arrival date, age and breeding success in White Stork Ciconia ciconia. Journal of Avian Biology 38: 573–579.

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa (and other such edited regional works): Please note that when referencing a single species account, the author of that account should be cited, for example:
du Plessis MA. 2005. Green Woodhoopoe. In: Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ, Ryan PG (eds), Roberts birds of southern Africa (7th edn). Cape Town: Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund. pp 162–164.
However, when referencing multiple accounts (e.g. extracting clutch-size data) the entire volume should be cited:
Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ, Ryan PG (eds). 2005. Roberts birds of southern Africa (7th edn). Cape Town: Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund.

Conventions: The English name of a species is capitalised (e.g. Southern Brown-throated Weaver) but not the name of a group of species (e.g. robins, weavers). Scientific names of genera and species – but not family names – and foreign words should be italicised. Trinomials may be used only when accurately known and essential to the results and discussion. Both the English and scientific names must be cited when a species is first mentioned but thereafter only one need be used. The English and scientific names of a species recorded from southern Africa should be those used in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa VIIth Edition (2005). For other regions, English and scientific names should be taken from The Birds of Africa (1982 onwards) or an authoritative regional checklist. Metric symbols and their international symbols are used throughout as is the decimal point and the 24-hour clock (e.g. 08:00, 17:25). Dates should be written as 13 July 1973. Ranges should have an en dash (3–5 km). There should be a space before unit terms (23 °C, 5 kg, 5 kg d–¹ etc.) except for percentages (5%). Use ‘mass’ instead of ‘weight’. The UK spelling convention should be followed. There should be a single space between sentences. The period (.) must be used as the decimal indicator, and spaces must appear before the third digit to the left of the decimal point (e.g. 1 234.56 g). Thousands/millions should be marked with a space and not a comma. The significance of statistical tests should be written in the form p < 0.001, and use ns for not significant.

Electronic reprints: Authors will be notified by e-mail when their article is available for download from the Taylor & Francis website.

Open access: Ostrich is a hybrid journal which allows authors the option of publishing their article Open Access for a set fee. Further details are given on the Open Access at NISC page. 


Instructions for Authors

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Figure Guidelines for Authors

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Figure FAQs

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