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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Fruit consumption in migratory passerines is limited by water ingestion rather than by body water balance

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 94 (2). doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/jav.02021

ABSTRACT

Many insectivorous passerines become frugivorous during migration. Because water may facilitate the digestion of dry fruits, some passerines may benefit from staging in stopover sites that offer access to drinking water. In autumn, water consumption by blackcaps Sylvia atricapilla staging in Israel was found to induce a shift from insectivory to frugivory. We tested two alternative hypotheses concerning the mechanism facilitating consumption of the relatively dry fruits which are common in this region: 1) water intake facilitates the passage of fruits within the digestive tract when these two resources are simultaneously ingested, and 2) improved body water balance allows the consumption and ingestion of large amounts of dry fruits. Blackcaps were subjected to five treatments that included temporal separation of water and fruit consumption, as well as subcutaneous water injection to maintain balanced body water in water‐deprived birds. Fruit consumption rate was measured daily. We found that only simultaneous provisioning of water and fruits significantly increased fruit consumption rate, implying that drinking water directly improves fruit digestion within the digestive system. Furthermore, the fuel deposition rate increased with increased fruit consumption rate. These results emphasize the importance of water availability for the ecology and conservation of migrating passerines.

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.