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

Contrasting aspects of tailswinds and asymmetrical response to crosswinds in soaring migrants

21 February 2018

Becciu, P., Panuccio, M., Catoni, C., Dell'Omo, G., and Sapir, N. 2018. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 72(28).  

Hovering hummingbird wing aerodynamics during the annual cycle. II. Implications of wing feather moult

21 February 2018

Achache Y, Sapir N, Elimelech Y. 2018. Hovering hummingbird wing aerodynamics during the annual cycle. II. Implications of wing feather moult. Royal Society Open Science 5: 171766.  

Moving in the Anthropocene: Global reductions in terrestrial mammalian movements

24 January 2018

Science 359 (6374): 466-469  

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The effect of water availability on fuel deposition of two staging Sylvia warblers

Sapir, N., Tsurim, I., Gal, B. and Abramsky, Z. 2004. The effect of water availability on fuel deposition of two staging Sylvia warblers. Journal of Avian Biology 35:25-32.



In order to succeed in crossing extensive ecological barriers, migratory birds usually deposit fuel en route. High rates of fuel deposition may enable birds to shorten their total migration time and are therefore advantageous for time-minimizing migrants. Several studies have suggested that water provision may increase food utilization in non-migratory birds. The goal of this study was to test the influence of water availability on the fuel deposition of en route migratory passerines. We studied fuel deposition of blackcaps Sylvia atricapilla and lesser whitethroats S. curruca staging in a plantation of Mount Atlas gum-tree Pistacia atlantica in the northern Negev desert, Israel, during the autumns of 2000 and 2002. We manipulated water availability at the site and measured the effect of water supplementation on fuel deposition of birds of both species. We found that when water was available, blackcaps had higher fuel loads and higher fuel deposition rates than during control trials. However, water availability had no effect on fuel deposition of lesser whitethroats. Species-specific differences in adaptations to arid conditions, reflected in the species’ winter habitat preferences, may be responsible for the between-species dissimilarity in responding to water provision. We suggest that water availability may have strong ecological and evolutionary consequences for birds migrating through arid environments, by its possible effect on bird behavior and physiology.

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.