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

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). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00265-018-2447-0  

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. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsos.171766  

Moving in the Anthropocene: Global reductions in terrestrial mammalian movements

24 January 2018

Science 359 (6374): 466-469 http://science.sciencemag.org/content/359/6374/466  

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Migration of the Western Marsh Harrier to the African wintering quarters along the Central Mediterranean flyway: a 5‑year study.

Agostini, N., Panuccio, M., Pastorino, A., Sapir, N., and G. Dell'Omo. 2017. Migration of the Western Marsh Harrier to the African wintering quarters along the Central Mediterranean flyway: a 5‑year study. Avian Research 8:24. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40657-017-0081-6

ABSTRACT

Background: The Western Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus) is a partial migrant with the populations from Eastern
and Northern Europe migrating south to sub-Saharan Africa. During the autumn migration, that is peaking in September,
harriers move on a broad front heading SW and undertake long sea-crossings en route to their wintering quarters,
passing in substantial numbers through Italy and Malta with the highest concentrations recorded at the Strait
of Messina. Most of the individuals migrating across the Strait are heading for the wintering quarters in Africa, while
fewer spend the winter in Sicily.
Methods: In a 5-year study (2011‒2015), between 26 August and 30 September, we determined age and sex of
autumn migrating harriers through this flyway. In 2014 we determined, by marine radar and optical range finder, the
flight altitude of migrating harriers.
Results: A total of 10,261 Western Marsh Harriers were counted during the whole study, with an average of 2052 per
autumn season. Adults outnumbered juveniles and males outnumbered females. Harriers flew at lower altitudes during
the morning while large flocks flew lower than single birds or small flocks.
Conclusions: Our observations are consistent with previous surveys and confirm that adult males have a tendency
to migrate over a long distance, while substantial numbers of adult females and juveniles do not head for the wintering
quarters in Africa. Finally, flight patterns recorded can be explained by a more pronounced flapping flight of
Western Marsh Harriers during migration.

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.