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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Migrating birds avoid flying through fog and low clouds

Panuccio, M., Stanzione, V., Catoni, C., Bogliani, G., Dell'Omo, G., and N. Sapir. 2019. Migrating birds avoid flying through fog and low clouds. International Journal of Biometeorology (In press). doi:


Different weather conditions are known to affect bird migration, yet the influence of fog and low clouds on migrating birds has
been rarely examined so far, and hence, their impact on bird movement is not well understood. Fog avoidance could be a
consequence of visual limitations within the fog or may be the outcome of deteriorated soaring conditions due to the obstruction
of the sun.We carried out a radar study at the Strait of Messina, which is a bottleneck for migrating birds traversing the Central
Mediterranean Sea, to determine if the intensity of diurnal soaring bird migration was influenced by fog and other weather
variables. We recorded bird movements using an X-band radar, which can detect birds flying within the fog, and recorded
weather conditions using local meteorological observations. We examined if bird passage rate (number of tracks/hour) at the
radar site was influenced by fog, wind speed and direction, air temperature and the time of day. Our findings suggest that fog was
the most important factor affecting bird migration intensity as recorded by the radar, indicating that birds actively avoided flying
into fog. In addition, wind direction affected bird migration intensity, with lower numbers recorded with southerly tailwinds and
higher numbers recorded with westerly crosswinds. Our findings highlight a consequence of widespread meteorological conditions,
and of fog in particular, on migrating birds, with implications for bird migration navigation, path length and flight

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.