Journal of African Ornithology

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

Impact Factor: 0.616 (2017)
5-year Impact Factor: 0.63 (2017)

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 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

Dr Melissa Whitecross
Terrestrial Bird Conservation Programme, BirdLife South Africa
e-mail: melissa.whitecross@birdlife.org.za

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 Soladaye B. Iwajomo Ecotoxicology and Conservation Unit, University of Lagos
Dr Genevieve Jones Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Dr Jessica Kemper African Penguin Conservation Project, Namibia   
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, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
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
Dr Richard Sherley Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter, Penryn, United Kingdom
Dr Saad Hanane Forest Research Centre, Rabat-Agdal, Morocco   

Editorial Advisory Board

Dr Phoebe Barnard, Pacific Biodiversity Institute, Anacortes, WA, USA
Dr Imad Cherkaoui, Ecole Supérieure de Technologie de Khénifra, (Université Moulay Ismail), Khenifra, Morocco
Prof. Colleen Downs, School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Scottsville, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Dr David Maphisa, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Kirstenbosch, South Africa
Dr Manu Shiiwua, AP Leventis Ornithological Research Institute, Jos, Nigeria

Book Review Editor

Susan Mvungi Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

Abstract Translators

Dr Saad Hanane Forest Research Centre, Rabat-Agdal, Morocco
Dr Imad Cherkaoui Moulay Ismail University (Ecole Supérieure de Technologie de Khénifra), Morocco
Alexandre Thouzeau Independent environmental consultant, Port Elizabeth, South Africa 

Social Media Manager

Caroline Howes University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Twitter: @ostrichJAO


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 89, Issue 3, 2018

Research Article

Communal farmers of Namibia appreciate vultures and the ecosystem services they provide
Author(s): Christie A CraigDST-NRF Centre of Excellence at the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, Department of Biological Sciences, South Africa, Robert L ThomsonDST-NRF Centre of Excellence at the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, Department of Biological Sciences, South Africa, Andrea SantangeliHelsinki Lab of Ornithology, Finnish Museum of Natural History, Finland
Pages: 211–220
Seasonality, habitat type and locality influenced bird assemblage structure in Nigeria
Author(s): Sulaiman I MuhammadDepartment of Biological Sciences, Nigeria, Rosli RamliInstitute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Malaysia, Amy Y ThenInstitute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Malaysia
Pages: 221–231
Feeding ecology of Lilian’s Lovebird Agapornis lilianae in Liwonde National Park, Malawi
Author(s): Tiwonge I MzumaraSchool of Life Sciences, South Africa, Mike R PerrinSchool of Life Sciences, South Africa, Colleen T DownsSchool of Life Sciences, South Africa
Pages: 233–239
Temporal changes in prey composition and biomass delivery to African Crowned Eagle nestlings in urban areas of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Author(s): Tim van der MeerSchool of Life Sciences, South Africa, Shane McPhersonSchool of Life Sciences, South Africa, Colleen DownsSchool of Life Sciences, South Africa
Pages: 241–250
Hunting flight speeds of five southern African raptors
Author(s): Lorinda A HartSchool of Life Sciences, South Africa, Erin P WrefordSchool of Life Sciences, South Africa, Mark BrownSchool of Life Sciences, South Africa, Colleen T DownsSchool of Life Sciences, South Africa
Pages: 251–258
Carotenoid-based plumage pigmentation and concentration as a function of sex and habitat type in the Yellow-breasted Boubou Laniarius atroflavus
Author(s): S Temidayo OsinubiSchool of Biological Sciences, New Zealand, Kevin J McGrawSchool of Life Sciences, USA, Ulf OttossonAP Leventis Ornithological Research Institute, University of Jos, Nigeria, Jennifer A BrownSchool of Mathematics and Statistics, New Zealand, James V BriskieSchool of Biological Sciences, New Zealand, Hazel M ChapmanSchool of Biological Sciences, New Zealand
Pages: 259–264
Urban bird trends in a rapidly growing tropical city
Author(s): Dan ChamberlainDepartment of Life Sciences and Systems Biology, Italy, Micheal KibuuleDepartment of Zoology, Uganda, Roger Q SkeenNature Uganda, Uganda, Derek PomeroyDepartment of Environmental Management, Uganda
Pages: 275–280
Longevity in some Malagasy rainforest passerines
Author(s): Friederike WoogStaatliches Museum für Naturkunde Stuttgart, Germany, Narisoa RamanitraEcole Normale Supérieure, Université d’Antananarivo, Madagascar, Andrianarivelosoa Solohery RasamisonMention Zoologie et Biodiversité Animale, Faculté des Sciences, L’Université d’Antananarivo, Madagascar, Rasolondraibe Lovahasina TahiryMention Zoologie et Biodiversité Animale, Faculté des Sciences, L’Université d’Antananarivo, Madagascar
Pages: 281–286

Review Article

Hooded Vultures Necrosyrtes monachus nearly extirpated from Edo State, Nigeria: a report on the avian scavenger community
Author(s): Esther NosazeogieAP Leventis Ornithological Research Institute, University of Jos, Nigeria, Talatu TendeAP Leventis Ornithological Research Institute, University of Jos, Nigeria, Ara MonadjemDepartment of Biological Sciences, Swaziland
Pages: 265–273

Short Note

Shoot the Messager? How the Secretarybird Sagittarius serpentarius got its names (mostly wrong)
Author(s): Ian GlennDepartment of Communication Science, South Africa
Pages: 287–290


Michael Patrick Stuart Irwin 1 July 1925 Donaghee, Ireland – 13 September 2017 Litcham, Norfolk, UK
Author(s): Kit HustlerEx Curator of Ornithology at the Natural History Museum of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo,, Carl VernonRetired naturalist,
Pages: 291–293

Book Review

Avian Cognition
Author(s): Samuel Temidayo OsinubiFitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, DST-NRF Centre of Excellence, 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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