Research interest

My main research focuses on the role different sensory systems play in the foraging ecology of vertebrates, concentrating on how animals (mainly birds) extract information from their environment. Especially, I am interested in birds' visual and olfactory abilities. For three years, my main species models are raptors (birds of prey), as they are believed to forage primarily using vision, with the sense of smell playing little or no role at all.

Running projects

Visual acuity

Harris's hawk

We aim to identify from how far away some raptors can identify an object of a known size, both with an achromatic and a chromatic pattern.

Visual field

Golden eagle

We are trying to understand the visuals field configuration of raptors in regard to their foraging tactics and prey capture.


Condor fovea

We are performing a comparative analysis to understand the development and the possible physical function of the fovea.

Foraging by smell

Southern caracara

Mostly considered as anosmic, the goal of the study is to estimate the olfactory abilities of raptors in a foraging context.

Olfactory signature

Black kite

Chemicals compounds from the uropygial gland secretion seem important in avian communication. Is this true in raptors?

Head stabilisation

Peregrine falcon

The study of head stabilization in flight may help to understand how raptors can use their high visual acuity during foraging.

© 2017 - Simon Potier