“Professor Phil Hockey, Director of the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of
African Ornithology and well-known author of numerous books on southern
African birds, passed away on 24 January 2013 after a battle with cancer.
Phil¹s death is a massive loss for ornithology, both within southern
Africa and worldwide. He leaves a rich legacy of contributions to
science, conservation, and birding not least, of which was being
Editor-in-Chief for the latest edition of Roberts Birds of Southern
In 2008, Phil was a worthy recipient of the Zoological Society of southern
Africa’s Stevenson Hamilton Silver Medal in recognition of his long-term
commitment to promoting Zoology among the public of South Africa. This
award stands testimony to his monumental contributions to, not only the
scientific literature, but also the general public¹s interest and
understanding of ornithology through books, regular contributions to
Africa Geographic² and ŒAfrica: Birds and Birding¹, television and radio interviews and public lectures.
An obituary in honour of his meaningful contribution to ornithology over
several decades will be published in the next issue of African Zoology.
On behalf of all current and past members of the ZSSA, we express our
deepest sympathies with his wife Samantha at this very difficult time. His
many collaborators, students and postdocs will sorely miss Phil.”
Andrew McKechnie and Sarita Maree
on behalf of the council and members of
The Zoological Society of southern Africa