Ostrich: Journal of African Ornithology | National Inquiry Services Centre


Journal of African Ornithology

1.0 (2022) Impact Factor
1.0 (2022) 5-year IF

2.3 (2022) CiteScore (Scopus)

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.



Dr Martim Melo
Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources (CIBIO); Natural History and Science Museum, University of Porto, Portugal

Deputy Editors-in-Chief

Prof. Derek Engelbrecht Department of Biodiversity, Universityof Limpopo, South Africa
Dr Alan TK Lee FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, DSI/NRF Centre of Excellence, University of Cape Town;Centre for Functional Biodiversity, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Associate Editors

Dr Alexandre Caron, French Agricultural Research Centre forInternational Development (CIRAD), Zimbabwe
Dr Anina Coetzee, Nelson Mandela University, South Africa
Dr Tegan Douglas, BirdLife Australia, Australia
Dr Birgit Erni, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Dr Doug Harebottle, Sol Plaaitjie University, South Africa
Dr Mohamed Henriques, University of Groningen, The Netherlands
Dr Jerry Huntley, American Museum of Natural History,United States
Dr Soladaye B Iwajomo, University of Lagos, Nigeria
Dr Jessica Kemper, African Penguin Conservation Project,Namibia
Dr Ricardo Lima, University of Lisbon, Portugal
Dr Michel Louette, Africamuseum, Belgium
Dr Machawe Maphalala, University of Eswatini, Eswatini
Dr Susan Miller, FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology,University of Cape Town, South Africa
Dr Matthew J Noakes, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Dr Graeme Oatley, University of Otago, New Zealand
Dr Krista Oswald, Rhodes University, South Africa
Dr Ulf Ottosson, Ottenby Bird Observatory, Sweden
Dr Amanda R Ridley, University of Western Australia, Australia;University of Cape Town, South Africa
Dr Richard Sherley, University of Exeter, United Kingdom

Editorial Advisory Board

Dr Imad Cherkaoui Moulay Ismail University, Morocco
Prof Afrian Craig Rhodes University, South Africa
Prof Colleen Downs University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Dr Melissa Whitecross Birdlife South Africa, South Africa
Dr David Maphisa South African National Biodiversity Institute, South Africa
Dr Samuel Temidayo Osinubi FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, BirdLife International, Nigeria
Dr Lizanne Roxburgh FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Dr Manu Shiiwua AP Leventis Ornithological Research Institute, Nigeria

Book Reviews Editor

Ms Janine Dunlop FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Copy Editor

Cynthia Kulongowski NISC, (Pty) Ltd , Makhanda, South Africa

Abstract Translators

Dr Imad Cherkaoui, Moulay Ismail University, Morocco
Ms Celine Geiger, Environmental engineer, France 
Alexandre Thouzeau, Independent environmental consultant, France

Social Media Manager

Mr. Cameron BlairFitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Twitter: @ostrichJAO


All manuscripts presented in accordance with instructions to authors should be submitted to the online at the Taylor & Francis Submissions Portal (https://rp.tandfonline.com/submission/create?journalCode=TOST).

Publishing Manager

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

Dr Kelly-Anne Frith
NISC (Pty) Ltd
4 Speke Street
PO Box 377
Makhanda 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:

Tel: +27 (0)11 789 1122
e-mail: membership@birdlife.co.za

Latest Issue

Volume 94, Issue 4, 2023: Avian Moult


Special issue on moult in African birds
Author(s): Adrian Craig Rhodes University, South Africa , Birgit Erni University of Cape Town, South Africa
Pages: iii–iii

Research Articles

Plumage dimorphism and moult patterns of weaverbirds – a review
Author(s): H-Dieter Oschadleus University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa , Staffan Andersson University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Pages: 245–257
Primary moult in the annual cycle of adult African Oystercatchers Haematopus moquini
Author(s): Taylyn C Bate University of Cape Town, South Africa , Peter G Ryan University of Cape Town, South Africa , Les G Underhill University of Cape Town, South Africa
Pages: 258–265
Primary moult of adult Laughing Doves Spilopelia senegalensis: introduction of the relative duration index and a comparison of moult indices
Author(s): Tanya Scott University of Cape Town, South Africa , Les G Underhill University of Cape Town, South Africa , George D Underhill University of Cape Town, South Africa
Pages: 266–277
The primary moult of adult Red-headed Finches Amadina erythrocephala
Author(s): T Scott University of Cape Town, South Africa , JMH Raijmakers , South Africa , LG Underhill University of Cape Town, South Africa
Pages: 278–291
Pattern and intensity of moult in White-capped/Shy Albatrosses Thalassarche steadi/cauta
Author(s): Peter G Ryan University of Cape Town, South Africa , Oluwadunsin E Adekola University of Cape Town, South Africa
Pages: 292–303
Wing-moult and seasonal occurrence of sunbirds (Nectariniidae) captured at four sites in the Eastern Cape, South Africa
Author(s): Bo T Bonnevie Rhodes University, South Africa , Adrian JFK Craig Rhodes University, South Africa , Pat E Hulley Rhodes University, South Africa , Albert Schultz , South Africa , Anthony J Tree Rhodes University, South Africa
Pages: 304–314
Using generalised additive models to visualise the annual cycle of primary feather moult patterns
Author(s): Rebecca R Irons University of Cape Town, South Africa , Alan TK Lee University of Cape Town, South Africa , Robert L Thomson University of Cape Town, South Africa , Birgit Erni University of Cape Town, South Africa
Pages: 324–332

Short Notes

Influence of groups of points on estimates of the parameters of moult
Author(s): Les G Underhill University of Cape Town, South Africa , Tanya Scott University of Cape Town, South Africa
Pages: 333–336


Instructions for Authors

Submit Now

Author FAQ


Instructions for Authors

The journal will publish refereed scientific papers, reviews, perspectives and short communications containing the results of original work within the general field of ornithology in Africa and its islands. Reviews of relevant books will also be published. All communications, with the exception of book reviews, will be scrutinised by referees. The journal adheres strictly to a double-anonymized review process.

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 the Taylor & Francis Submissions Portal. New users should first create an account. Should you have difficulty submitting material online, please notify us at info@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 written in clear English (UK spelling) and divided into the following sections in this order: 
(1) Abstract (not exceeding 300 words)
(2) Keywords
(3) Introduction
(4) Methods
(5) Results
(6) Discussion
(7) Acknowledgements
(8) References
(9) Tables
(10) Appendices
(11) Figure legends
Short Communications should include an Abstract and Keywords, but no other subheadings in the body text.

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. Do not embed images in the Word document, rather use "Insert Picture from File". 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 USD75 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 (for additional examples refer to Reference Exemplars for Authors).

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 should follow the IOC world bird list (https://www.worldbirdnames.org). For southern African birds, please mention alternative names should these differ from those of the IOC according to official BirdLife South Africa checklists (https://www.birdlife.org.za/media-and-resources/bird-checklists); for example, Hadada (Hadeda) Ibis Bostrychia hadedash. 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. For stylistic conventinos, refer to Presentation of Mathematial and Statistical Data available for download. 

Electronic reprints: Authors will be notified by email 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. 


Figure Guidelines for Authors

PDF File | Size: 788.97 KB download »view online »

Figure FAQs

PDF File | Size: 1.25 MB download »view online »


Have a question about Ostrich: Journal of African Ornithology? Call us on +27(0)46 622 9698 or submit an enquiry using the form.

Get new issue alerts for Ostrich: Journal of African Ornithology