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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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: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00484-018-01656-z

ABSTRACT

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
energetics.

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.