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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Does saline water consumption affect feeding and fuel deposition rate of a staging, long-distance migrating passerine?

Efrat, R., Shani, G., Gutman, R. and Sapir N. 2015. Does saline water consumption affect feeding and fuel deposition rate of a staging, long-distance migrating passerine? Journal of Avian Biology 46: 1-8.

ABSTRACT

To accomplish their enduring journeys, migrating birds accumulate fuel consisting mainly of lipids in stopover sites located throughout their migration routes. Fuel deposition rate (FDR) is considered a key parameter determining the speed of migration and thereby bird fitness, and recent studies have demonstrated the positive effects of fresh water consumption on the FDR of migrating blackcaps Sylvia atricapilla. Sewage water reservoirs, characterized by higher water salinity than fresh water, were extensively built in different parts of the world and are used by birds during their travel, but their effects on wildlife and specifically on migrating birds have been largely overlooked thus far. We experimentally examined the effects of water salinity on blackcap FDR during migration. We captured birds in an autumn stopover site, transported them to the laboratory and provided them with fruits, mealworms and water of different salinity levels (0.3, 4.5 and 9‰ NaCl) for several days. We examined the effects of water salinity on the blackcaps’ diet, water consumption and FDR and found that FDR was mainly affected by fruit consumption rate and not by the water salinity levels. Water salinity nevertheless caused elevated water consumption as the birds consumed almost 3 times more saline water than fresh water per consumed fruit mass. Our work is the first to explore the consequences of saline water consumption on migrating passerines, specifically suggesting that anthropogenic alterations of habitats by sewage water treatment facilities may modulate bird nutrition and diet.

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.