News

Welcome aboard to our new student Eran Altschuler

25 October 2018

We welcome our new M.Sc. student Eran Altschuler!

Congratulations and warm wishes to our students Inbal and Yosef

27 January 2018

To Inbal for the birth of her daughter, and to Yosef for the birth of his son. We wish them and their families joy and happiness

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New publications

Feather moult and bird appearance are correlated with global warming over the last 200 years

05 July 2019

Kiat, Y., Vortman, Y., and N. Sapir. (2019) Feather moult and bird appearance are correlated with global warming over the last 200 years. Nature Communications 10 (2540). doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-10452-1 ABSTRACT...

Fruit consumption in migratory passerines is limited by water ingestion rather than by body water balance

05 July 2019

Domer, A., Shochat, A., Ovadia, O., and N. Sapir (2019) Fruit consumption in migratory passerines is limited by water ingestion rather than by body water balance. Journal of Avian Biology...

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Implications of floral orientation for flight kinematics and metabolic expenditure of hover-feeding hummingbirds

Sapir, N. and Dudley, R. 2013. Implications of floral orientation for flight kinematics and metabolic expenditure of hover-feeding hummingbirds. Functional Ecology 27:227-235.

 

ABSTRACT

Summary

  1. Nectar-bearing flowers are characterized by many different shapes, sizes and orientations, which may affect the way hummingbirds feed from them. Many hummingbird-pollinated flowers are oriented downwards, thereby requiring that trochilids feed while hovering with the bill oriented vertically upward.
  2. We measured body orientations, wingbeat kinematics and hovering metabolic rates for Anna's Hummingbirds (Calypte anna) feeding from artificial flowers that were oriented horizontally, tilted 45° downwards and pointing vertically downwards.
  3. When feeding from vertically oriented flowers, hummingbirds employed an upright body position combined with dorsal head flexion. Additional kinematic adjustments included an increased stroke plane angle relative to the longitudinal body axis and an increased stroke amplitude deriving from increases in the minimum positional angle of the wingbeat.
  4. By contrast, wingbeat frequency, the stroke plane angle relative to horizontal, the ratio of the minimum to maximum positional angles of the wingbeat and the upstroke/downstroke ratio did not vary during feeding from different flower orientations.
  5. Metabolic rates increased by an average (±SD) of 10·8 (±8·8)% for feeding from vertically compared to horizontally oriented flowers.
  6. Feeding from pendent flowers comes with a substantial metabolic cost that may influence floral selection by hummingbirds and thus the evolution of associated pollination syndromes.

About us

We are a group of scientists devoted to the study of animal flight, including animal movement ecology, behavior, physiology and biomechanics. We study wild animals in the field and in the lab using a diversity of research approaches. We welcome applications for M.Sc. and Ph.D. studies and post-doctoral work in our group at the Department of Evolutionary and Environmental Biology at the University of Haifa.