The Charter Group of Wildlife Ecology



CV: Dr. Motti Charter  

Shamir Research Institute, University of Haifa, Katzrin, Israel.
Email: and;
Mobile : +972-544-901-130; TeleFax:  +972-4-6499440

Citizenship: Israeli and US (Duel)

Army Service

Israeli Defense Force (2001): Completed active duty and am presently in first sergeant first class in the reserves.

Current Employment: 
Shamir Research Institute- Principal investigator 
University of Haifa- Research Associate


Post doctorate: (2016- 2017)
  • Studying how movement in barn owls is influenced by breeding success, diet and morphology in the Movement Ecology Lab of the Hebrew University (Prof. Ran Nathan).
Post doctorate: (2012- 2017)
  • Studied at the University of Haifa under the supervision of Prof. Ido Izhaki and Prof. Alexandre Roulin (University of Lausanne). The Swiss funded research deals
with how color traits in barns is related to breeding, hunting (movement) and diet.
Post doctorate: (2010- 2011)
  • Studied at the Tel Aviv University under the supervision of Dr. Yossi Leshem. Studied whether occupation and breeding success of barn varied, in different regions and locations.
PhD: (2005- 2010)
  • Studied towards, and completed, a PhD degree in Zoology from the Tel Aviv University under the supervision of Dr. Yossi Leshem, Prof. Amotz Zehavi, and Prof. Ido Izhaki.
  • Concentrated on competitive and predator-prey interactions between breeding birds.
Master’s Degree: (2001-2004)
  • Studied towards, and completed, a Master’s degree in Zoology from the Tel Aviv University under the supervision of Dr. Yossi Leshem and Amos Bouskila.
  • Researched the biology of the common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) in an agricultural landscape with an emphasis on and their reproductive biology and their role as a biological pest control of rodents.
University of Massachusetts at Amherst: (1995-1999)
  • Bachelor of Science in Animal Science/Pre-Vet

Ben Gurion University of the Negev at Beer Sheva: (summer 97- spring 98)

  • Studied abroad for two semesters in Israel with a course focus in ecology and liberal arts.
Research Interests: (Short)
My general interest is in bird population and community dynamics, bird movement ecology, and evolutionary biology. Specifically, I am interested in how different biotic and abiotic factors affect breeding success in birds. I have been studying for the past 10 years competitive interactions (both native and invasive species species), reproductive behavior of breeding birds and predator-prey interactions (using birds as biological pest control of different pests) and the evolution of color traits in barn owls. To this end I have researched diurnal (common kestrels) and nocturnal raptors (barn owls and long-eared owls), song birds (great tits and house sparrow), and invasive species (ringed-parakeet and common myna). I also am interested in applied research, citizen science and STEM educational projects to introduce middle and high school students to academic research. 


  1. Charter M., Izhaki I., Leshem, Y., Meyrom K., and A Roulin 2017. The relationship between weather and reproduction of the barn owl Tyto alba in a semi-arid agricultural landscape in Israel. Avian Biology Research 10: 253-258.
  1. Roulin A., Mansour AR, Spiegel B., Charter M., Dreiss A., and Y Leshem. 2017. “Nature Knows No Boundaries”: The role of nature conservation in peacebuilding. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 32: 305-310.
  1. Vaugoyeau, M...… Charter M. et al.  2016. Interspecific variation in the relationship between clutch size, laying date and intensity of urbanization in four species of hole-nesting birds. Ecology and Evolution 6:5907-2920.
  1. Charter, M., Izhaki, I., Ben Mocha and S. Kark 2016. Nest-site competition between invasive and native cavity nesting birds and its implication for conservation. Journal of Environmental Management 181:129–134
  1. Weller, A., Orchan, Y., Nathan, R., Charter, M., Weiss, A.J. and Toledo, S. 2016.  Characterizing the Accuracy of a Self-Synchronized Reverse-GPS Wildlife Localization System. ACM/IEEE International Conference on Information Processing in Sensor Networks
  1. Burri, R., Antoniazza, S., Gaigher, A., Ducrest, A. L., Simon, The European Barn Owl Network*, C., Fumagalli, L., Goudet, L., and Roulin, A. 2015. The genetic basis of color‐related local adaptation in a ring‐like colonization around the Mediterranean. Evolution 70: 140–153*Listed within article as part of the barn owl network
  1. Hadad E., Weil G., and M. Charter 2015. The importance of natural habitats as Short-toed Eagle (Circaetus gallicus) breeding sites. Avian Bird Research. 8: 160–166
  1. Charter M., Izhaki I., Leshem, Y., Meyrom K., and A Roulin 2015. Relationship between barn owl diet and reproductive success in the Middle East. Journal of Arid Environments. 122: 59–63
  1. Charter M., Leshem Y, Izhaki I., Peleg O. and A Roulin 2015. Pheomelanin-based colouration is correlated with indices of flying strategies in the barn owl. Journal of Ornithology. 156:309–312
  1. Hadad E., Roulin A. and M. Charter 2015. A record of communal nesting in the Barn Owl (Tyto alba). Wilson Journal of Ornithology 127: 114–119
  1. Møller, A.P.… Charter M. et al. . 2014. Variation in clutch size in relation to nest size in birds. Ecology and Evolution 4: 3583–3595
  1. Peleg O*. Charter M.*, Leshem Y, Izhaki I., Peleg O. and A Roulin 2014.  Conditional association between melanism and personality in Israeli barn owls. Bird Study.*equal contribution. Bird Study 61:572–577
  1. Møller, A.P.… Charter M. et al.  2014. Clutch size variation in Western Palearctic secondary hole-nesting passerine birds in relation to nest box design. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. 5:353–362
  1. Charter M., Izhaki, I.,  Leshem Y. 2013. Asymmetric seasonal nest site competition between Great Tit and House Sparrows. Journal of Ornithology 154:173–181
  1. Charter M., Leshem Y, Meyrom K., Peleg O. and A Roulin 2012. The importance of micro-habitat in the breeding of Barn Owls Tyto alba. Bird Study 59: 368–371
  1. Charter M., Izhaki, I., Leshem Y, and A Roulin 2012. Diet and breeding success of long-eared owls in a semi-arid environment. Journal of Arid Environments 85:142–144
  1. Charter M., Peleg O., Leshem Y. and A Roulin 2012. Similar patterns of local barn owl adaptation in the Middle East and Europe with respect to melanic coloration. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 106:447–454
  1. Lambrechts M.M., …. Charter M. et al. 2012. Nest-box design for the study of diurnal raptors and owls is still an overlooked point in ecological, evolutionary and conservation studies: a review. Journal of Ornithology 153:23–34
  1. Charter M., Izhaki, I. and Y. Leshem 2011. 2011. Predation or facilitation? An experimental assessment of whether generalist predators affect the breeding success of passerines. Journal of Ornithology 153:533–539
  1. Charter M., Leshem, Y., and I. Izhaki 2010.  Does nest basket size affect Long-eared Owl and Eurasian Kestrel breeding performance? Journal of Raptor Research 44:314–317
  1. Charter M., Izhaki, I. and Y. Leshem. 2010.  Effects of the risk of competition and predation in large secondary cavity breeders. Journal of Ornithology 151:791–795
  1. Charter M., Leshem Y., Halevi, S., M. and I. Izhaki. 2010. Nest box use by Great Tits in semi–arid rural residential gardens. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 122(3): 604–608
  1. Charter M., Meyrom K., Leshem Y., Aviel S., Izhaki I., and Y. Motro 2010. Does nest box location and orientation affect occupation rate and breeding success of Barn Owls Tyto alba in a semi-arid environment? Acta Ornithologgy 44:115–119
  1. Meyrom K., Motro Y., Leshem Y., Aviel S., Izhaki I., Argyle F. and M. Charter 2009. Nest-box use by the Barn Owl Tyto alba in a biological pest control program in the Beit She'an valley, Israel. Ardea 97(4): 463–467
  1. Charter M., Leshem Y. and S. Halevi. 2009. Use of nest baskets by Long- eared Owls Asio otus in Israel. Sandgrouse. 31:36–37
  1. Charter, M., Izhaki, I., Meyrom, K., Motro, Y. and Y. Leshem 2009. Diets of Barn Owls differ in the same agricultural region. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 121: 378–383
  1. Charter, M., Leshem, Y., Ezer, A., Aviel S. and V. Chikatunov 2008. The first record of use of a nest box by Hoopoe Upupa epops in Israel. Acrocephalus 29 (137):105–107
  1. Meyrom, K., Leshem, Y. and M. Charter. 2008. Barn Owl Tyto alba breeding success in man- made structures in the Jordan Rift valley, Israel. Sandgrouse 30: 134–137
  1. Charter M., Leshem Y., Izhaki I. and S. Halevi. 2008. A case of polygamy or co-operative breeding in the Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) in Israel. Sandgrouse 30: 164–165
  1. Kiat, Y., Perlman, G., Balaban, A.., Leshem, Y., Izhaki, I. and M. Charter (2008). Feeding specialization of urban Long-eared Owls, Asio otus (Linnaeus, 1758), in Jerusalem, Israel. Zoology in the Middle East 43:49–54
  1. Charter M., Izhaki I., Bouskila, A. and Y. Leshem. 2007. The effect of different nest types on the breeding success of Eurasian Kestrels (Falco tinnunculus) in a rural ecosystem. J. Raptor Res. 41(2):143–149
  1. Charter M., Izhaki I., Bouskila, A., and Y. Leshem. 2007. Breeding success of the Eurasian Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) nesting on buildings in Israel. J. Raptor Res. 41(2):139–143
  1. Charter M., Izhaki I., Shapira L. and Y. Leshem. 2007. Diets of Urban Breeding Barn Owls (Tyto Alba) in Tel Aviv, Israel. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 119:484–485
  1. Charter, M., Leshem, Y., Izhaki, I., Guershon, M. and Y. Kiat. 2006. The diet of the Little Owl, Athene noctua, in Israel. Zoology in the Middle East. 39:31–40
  1. Charter, M. and Y. Leshem. 2006. First documented case of Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni breeding in an open nest in Israel. Sandgrouse 28:77–78
  1. Charter, M. and H. K. Mienis. 2005. Snails in pellets and prey remains of kestrels Falco tinnunculus in Israel. Triton 12:31–32
  1. Charter, M. Bouskila, A, and Y. Leshem 2005. Second clutches by Common Kestrels Falco tinnunculus breeding on buildings in Israel. Sandgrouse 27:165–167
  1. Charter, M., Bouskila, A, Aviel, S., and Y. Leshem 2005. First Record of Eurasian Jackdaw (Corvus monedula) Parasitism by the Great Spotted Cuckoo (Clamator glandarius) in Israel. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 117(2):201–204
Children’s book, “Yoni the tits nest”  הקן של יוני הירגזי              

2014—Inducted in the “World Owl Hall of Fame” and received the “Special Achievement Award” for his work in owl research and conservation in Israel during the “International Festival of Owls” in the Minnesota USA

Reviewer for the following Journals
  • Acta Ornithologica
  • Acrocephalus
  • Biological Conservation
  • Ibis
  • Journal of Arid Environments
  • Journal of Field Ornithology
  • Journal of Raptor Research
  • New Zealand Journal of Zoology
  • Sandgrouse
  • Western Birds
  • Wildlife Biology
  • Wilson Journal of Ornithology
Students Supervised
Undergraduate Projects
Tel Aviv University:Aya Goldstein, Chen Shemesh, Gilad Rotem,Hadas Sele, Inbal Segev, Karen Zrehan, Karina Gitim, Lev Shapira, Lior Halporon, Maria Novaslov, Maya Peter, Or Comay, Or Donis, Einat Rokach, Peter Mitzkin, Rotem Stern, Shahar Ben Cohen, Shay Levin, Shay Levy, Shir Ven Asher, Yuval Cohen, Gilad Person, Tomer Chen, Noy Lempert, Anna Azem, Adar Feldman.
Tel Hai College: Lior Lazar, Noa Nimri
Aya Goldstein, Maya Peter, Ori Peleg
Dr. Motti Charter
Tel: +972-54-490-1130;  Fax: +972-4-696-1930

USA Phone number that reaches Israel 1(786)3503321

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