Desert stopover in Morocco

On February 27th, 2019, this year’s field season in the oasis of Yasmina, Morocco, will kick off. The focus of the station, jointly run by the Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology and the Institut Catala’ d’Ornitologia, is to investigate different strategies used during stopover of migratory birds when landing in the desert. Armando Aispuro will be investigating territorial behaviour in Subalpine Warblers (Sylvia cantillans) and Woodchat Shrikes (Lanius senator). In addition, we will study the link between physiological adaptations to arid environments (e.g. differences in evaporative water loss) and behaviour at stopovers using automated radiotelemetry. We will study four closely related species along a gradient of arid habitat adaptations: Saharan Olivaceous Warbler (Iduna pallida reiseri), Western Olivaceous Warbler (Iduna opaca), Melodious Warbler (Hippolais polyglotta), and Eurasian Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus).

The field site will function as a bird ringing station and volunteers are welcome. Click on the link below for more information:

Info sheet Yasmina 2019

We welcome collaborations with people interested in the field site for their own research. Please contact Dr. Ivan Maggini (

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