The Babbler is the bi-monthly newsletter of BirdLife Zimbabwe. It’s downloadable here via the link below.


Zimbabwe's scientific journal of Ornithology Honeyguide had its humble origin in the Rhodesian Ornithological Society (ROS) Bulletins. These were stencilled foolscap productions beginning with Bulletin number 1, titled the Rhodesian Ornithological Bulletin (ROB), of July 1951. Not surprisingly this format effectively makes the Bulletin ‘out of print’. It is reproduced here in a different format in pdf documents and square brackets [ ] are used to enclose added notes, comments or updated bird names, although for the most part old names have been replaced by new names to facilitate easier searching.


Harry Miles was the editor to ROB Number 9, after which it was retitled the Rhodesian Ornithological Society Bulletin (ROSB) with #10, edited by a committee. #11 of May 1954 had the first drawing on the 1st page, a Secretarybird, and Dr. R.M. Harwin became editor.

#35: Aug 1961 was first in a magazine-type format, i.e. folded pages with a cover, the Saddle-billed Stork, running to 21 pp. on account of the 11th AGM.

#36: the suggestion of renaming the Bulletin after a well-known Rhodesian bird arose, with a short-list of 12 names.

#37: May 1962 was the first featuring a Greater Honeyguide on the cover and renamed The Honeyguide though frequently referred to in articles and notes as simply Honeyguide, even by the editor.

#116 was the last numbered issue; in 1984 the volume and part number sequence was adopted, #117 becoming Volume 30(1).

The first information on birds appeared in Bulletin number 2, of D.C.H. Plowes ringing some 300 Red-billed Quelea and 80 other species at Nyamandhlovu. A good start to what was to develop into Honeyguide, the ‘golden issue’ of volume 50 running to 240 pages, with an invaluable wealth of information published over the intervening decades.