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

« »

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...

« »

Feather moult and bird appearance are correlated with global warming over the last 200 years

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

Global warming alters various avian phenological processes, including advanced reproduction and migration schedules. In birds, individual appearance is largely determined by plumage, influencing, for example, bird attractiveness, social status and camouflage. Juveniles of most passerine species replace their nest-grown plumage during the first months of life, a process that is called post-juvenile feather moult. Using data from ten natural history collections, we show that the extent of the post-juvenile moult has increased significantly over the last 212 years (1805–2016), a trend that is positively correlated with the temperature of the environment. Therefore, it seems that birds replaced more feathers under warmer conditions, causing juveniles to appear more similar to adult birds. Moreover, in several species, we describe a male–female switch in the extent of moult, with females currently replacing more feathers than males compared to the past. These results demonstrate different biological responses to climate warming by different phenotypes.

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.