Journal of African Ornithology

ISSN: 0030-6525 (Print)
            1727-947X (Online)
Publication frequency: 4 issues per year

Impact Factor: 0.443 (2018)
5-year Impact Factor: 0.792 (2018)

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 FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town; Centre for Functional Biodiversity, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

e-mail: alan.tk.lee@googlemail.com

Deputy Editor-in-Chief

Dr Melissa Howes-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 Jerry Huntley American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA
Dr Saad Hanane Forest Research Centre, Rabat-Agdal, Morocco   
Dr Soladaye B. Iwajomo Ecotoxicology and Conservation Unit, University of Lagos
Dr Genevieve Jones FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Dr Jessica Kemper African Penguin Conservation Project, Namibia   
Dr Rob Little 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 Samuel Temidayo Osinubi, FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology and BirdLife International, Nigeria.
Dr Ulf Ottosson Ottenby Bird Observatory, Degerhamn, Sweden
Dr Amanda Ridley Centre for Evolutionary Biology, University of Western Australia, Australia
Dr Lizanne Roxburgh 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


Editorial Advisory Board

Dr Phoebe BarnardConservation Biology Institute,  Corvallis, Oregon, 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

Janine Dunlop 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, France

Social Media Manager

Dr Caroline Howes-Whitecross 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:

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

Latest Issue

Volume 91, Issue 1, 2020


Best student article published in Ostrich in 2019: hold onto your saddle, Bill, for the story behind a close race
Author(s): ATK LeeDST-NRF Centre of Excellence at the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology,
Pages: iii–v

Review Article

A brief review of the legal protection of vultures in South Africa
Author(s): Lindy J ThompsonBirds of Prey Programme, Endangered Wildlife Trust, South Africa, Andrew C BlackmoreEzemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife, South Africa
Pages: 1–12
Taha taha taha: South African bird names across time, language and usage
Author(s): Adrian KoopmanFaculty of Arts and Design, South Africa, Eckhart BuchmannSchool of Clinical Medicine,
Pages: 13–23


Cliff roost site selection of the endangered Cape Vulture Gyps coprotheres in the Eastern Cape province, South Africa
Author(s): Francis R MartensSchool of Natural Resource Management, George Campus, South Africa, Morgan B PfeifferSchool of Natural Resource Management, George Campus, South Africa, Colleen T DownsSchool of Life Sciences, South Africa, Jan A VenterSchool of Natural Resource Management, George Campus, South Africa
Pages: 25–34
The diet of Malagasy dry forest understory birds based on faecal samples
Author(s): Manoa L FaliarivolaMention Zoologie et Biodiversité Animale, Domaine Sciences et Technologies, Madagascar, Marie J RaherilalaoMention Zoologie et Biodiversité Animale, Domaine Sciences et Technologies, Madagascar, Aristide AndrianarimisaMention Zoologie et Biodiversité Animale, Domaine Sciences et Technologies, Madagascar, Steven M GoodmanAssociation Vahatra, Madagascar
Pages: 35–44
The avifauna, conservation and biogeography of the Njesi Highlands in northern Mozambique, with a review of the country’s Afromontane birdlife
Author(s): Samuel EI JonesSchool of Biological Sciences, United Kingdom, Gabriel A JamieBiodiversity Inventory for Conservation, Belgium, Emidio SumbaneBiodiversity Inventory for Conservation, Belgium, Merlijn JocqueBiodiversity Inventory for Conservation, Belgium
Pages: 45–56
Breeding behaviour and diet of the Crowned Eagle Stephanoaetus coronatus in western Tanzania
Author(s): Hiroshi KanedaKaneda Wildlife Research, Ishikawa Nonoichi Sanno, Japan
Pages: 57–63
Breeding ecology of the Cream-coloured Courser in Cape Verde
Author(s): Romy RiceDepartment of Evolutionary Zoology and Human Biology, Hungary, José O ValdebenitoMilner Centre for Evolution, United Kingdom, Meinolf OttensmannDepartment of Animal Behaviour, Germany, Noémie EngelDepartment of Evolutionary Zoology and Human Biology, Hungary, Andreia AdriãoMaio Biodiversity Foundation, Republic of Cape Verde, Tamás SzékelyDepartment of Evolutionary Zoology and Human Biology, Hungary
Pages: 65–73
Breeding ecology of the Andalusian Buttonquail Turnix sylvaticus sylvaticus
Author(s): Carlos Gutiérrez-ExpósitoDepartamento de Biología de la Conservación, Estación Biológica de Doñana-CSIC, Spain, Ruth García-GorriaIbn Khaldoun 1, El Jadida, Morocco, Abdeljebbar QninbaLaboratoire de Géo-Biodiversité et Patrimoine Naturel (GEOBIO), Institut Scientifique, Morocco, Miguel ClaveroDepartamento de Biología de la Conservación, Estación Biológica de Doñana-CSIC, Spain, Eloy RevillaDepartamento de Biología de la Conservación, Estación Biológica de Doñana-CSIC, Spain
Pages: 75–82

Short Note

Using radar technology to assess visual monitoring accuracy of Cape Vulture movements
Author(s): Frowin K BeckerDepartment of Conservation Ecology and Entomology, South Africa, Rhonda L MillikinEchoTrack Inc., Canada, Alison J LeslieDepartment of Conservation Ecology and Entomology, South Africa
Pages: 83–90
Preliminary observations suggest Common Myna prefer lipid over protein and carbohydrate foods in a pairwise choice experiment
Author(s): S Thobeka GumedeDST-NRF Centre for Invasion Biology, South Africa, Colleen T DownsDST-NRF Centre for Invasion Biology, South Africa
Pages: 95–100


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 Editor-in-Chief, Dr Alan Lee, at alan.tk.lee@googlemail.com. 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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