Steffen Hahn


Steffen Hahn
Steffen Hahn (Foto © Archiv Vogelwarte)
Dr. rer. nat. Steffen Hahn
Department of Bird Migration
Swiss Ornithological Institute
Seerose 1
6204 Sempach

++41 41 462 97 83 (Phone)
++41 41 462 97 10 (Fax)




  • avian and polar ecology
  • stable isotope ecology
  • respirometry
  • tracking migration by geolocation by light

Current Projects

  • Disentangling the effects of avian malaria infection on migration patterns.
  • Seasonal and disease induced changes in metabolic rates of migrants.
  • Tracking small animals using light intensity records (geolocation)
  • Determination of wintering and stop-over sites of (near) passerines within the Palaearctic-African migration system.
  • Carry-over effects of conditions along the migration route to the performance in subsequent life history stages in birds



we should not forget our roots: FAN-B


since 2008 researcher at Swiss Ornithological Institute, Department of Bird Migration
2005 – 2008 Post-Doc at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology, NIOO-KNAW Centre for Limnology
2004 – 2005 Post-Doc at the Institute of Ecology, University of Jena, Germany
2003 – 2004 Temporary field researcher for BayerCropScience
2002 Ph.D. in Biology (Ecology), Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Germany


Selected publications Steffen Hahn (2012-today)

For a complete list see:

  • Hahn S, Bauer S, Dimitrov D, Emmenegger T, Ivanova K, Buttemer WA: Low intensity blood parasite infections do not reduce the aerobic performance of migratory birds (2018). Proc R Soc B: 285(1871),
  • Hahn S, Dimitrov D, Emmenegger T, Ilieva M, Peev S, Zehtindjiev P, Briedis M (2018) Migration, wing morphometry and wing moult in Spanish and House Sparrows from the eastern Balkan Peninsula. J Orn xx.
  • Emmenegger T, Bauer S, Dimitrov D, Olano Marin J, Zehtindjiev P, Hahn S (2018): Host migration strategy and blood parasite infections of three sparrow species sympatrically breeding in Southeast Europe. Parasitology Research 117(12):1-9,
  • Salewski V, Flade M, Lisovski S, Poluda A, Iliukha O, Kilijan G, Malashevich U, Hahn S (2018): Identifying migration routes and non-breeding staging sites of adult males of the globally threatened Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola. Bird Conservation International
  • Liechti F, Bauer S, Dhanjal-Adams KL, Emmenegger T, Zehtindjiev P, Hahn S (2018): Miniaturized multi-sensor loggers provide new insight into year-round flight behaviour of small trans-Sahara avian migrants. Movement Ecology 6(1),
  • Seifert N, Ambrosini R, Bontempo L, Camin F, Liechti F, Rubolini D, Scandolara C, Saino N, Hahn S (2018): Matching geographical assignment by stable isotopes with African non-breeding sites of barn swallows Hirundo rustica tracked by geolocation. PLoS ONE 13(9): e0202025,
  • Briedis M, Kurlavičius P, Mackevičienė R, Vaišvilienė R, Hahn S (2018): Loop migration, induced by seasonally different flyway use, in Northern European Barn Swallows. J Orn 159(4):1-7,
  • Procházka P, Brlík V, Yohannes E, Meister B, Auerswald J, Ilieva M, Hahn S (2018): Across a migratory divide: divergent migration directions and non‐breeding grounds of Eurasian reed warblers revealed by geolocators and stable isotopes. Journal of Avian Biology 49(6),
  • Emmenegger T, Bauer S, Hahn S, Müller SB, Spina F, Jenni L (2018): Blood parasites prevalence of migrating passerines increases over the spring passage period. J Zool 306(1),
  • Dhanjal-Adams KL, Bauer S, Emmenegger T, Hahn S, Lisovski S, Liechti F (2018): Spatiotemporal group dynamics in a long-distance migratory bird. Current Biology 08/2018; 28(17),
  • Briedis M, Hahn S, Krist M, Adamík P(2018): Finish with a sprint: Evidence for time-selected last leg of migration in a long-distance migratory songbird. Ecology and Evolution 06/2018; 8(14),
  • van Wijk RE, Schaub M, Hahn S, Juárez-García-Pelayo N, Schäfer B, Viktora L, Martín‐Vivaldi M, Zischewski M, Bauer S (2018): Diverse migration strategies in hoopoes (Upupa epops) lead to weak spatial but strong temporal connectivity. Sci of Nature105(42),
  • Lisovski S, Schmaljohann H, Bridge ES, Bauer S, Farnsworth A, Gauthreaux SA, Hahn S, Hallworth MT, Hewson CM, Kelly JF, Liechti F, Marra PP, Rakhimberdiev E, Ross JD, Seavy NE, Sumner MD, Taylor CZ, Winkler DW, Wotherspoon SJ, Wunder MB: Inherent limits of light-level geolocation may lead to over-interpretation. Current Biology 28(3):89-102,
  • Koleček J, Hahn S, Emmenegger T, Procházka P: Intra-tropical movements as a beneficial strategy for Palearctic migratory birds (2018). Royal Society Open Science 5(1):171675,
  • Szép T, Liechti F, Nagy K, Nagy Z, Hahn S (2017): Discovering the migration and non-breeding areas of sand martins and house martins breeding in the Pannonian basin (central-eastern Europe). Journal of Avian Biology 48(1):114-122,
  • Hiemer D, Salewski V, Fiedler W, Hahn S, Lisovski S (2017): First tracks of individual Blackcaps suggest a complex migration pattern. J Ornithol 159(1),
  • Briedis M, Hahn S, Adamik P (2017) Cold spell en route delays spring arrival and decreases apparent survival in a long-distance migratory songbird. BMC Ecology 17(1):11,
  • Korner-Nievergelt F, Prévot C, Hahn S, Jenni L, Liechti F (2017): The integration of mark re-encounter and tracking data to quantify migratory connectivity. Ecological Modelling; 344:87-94,
  • Krietsch J, Hahn S, Kopp M, Phillips RA, Peter H-U, Lisovski S (2017): Consistent variation in individual migration strategies of brown skuas. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 578,
  • Klaassen M, Hahn S, Korthals H, Madsen J (2017): Eggs brought in from afar: Svalbard-breeding pink-footed geese can fly their eggs across the Barents Sea. Journal of Avian Biology 48(1):173-179,
  • Procházka P, Hahn S, Rolland S, van der Jeugd H, Csörgő T, Jiguet F, Mokwa T, Liechti F, Vangeluwe D, Korner-Nievergelt F (2017) Delineating large-scale migratory connectivity of reed warblers using integrated multistate models. Div Distrib 23(1):27–40,[ss1] 
  • Hahn S et al. (2016) Longer wings for faster springs – wing length relates to spring phenology in a long-distance migrant across its range. Ecology and Evolution 6:68-77. doi: 10.1002/ece3.1862 Full text
  • Adamik P et al. (2016) Barrier crossing in small avian migrants: individual tracking reveals prolonged nocturnal flights into the day as a common migratory strategy. Scientific Reports 6:21560. doi: 10.1038/srep21560 Full text
  • Bauer S, Lisovski S, Hahn S (2016) Timing is crucial for consequences of migratory connectivity. Oikos 125:605-612. doi: 10.1111/oik.02706 Full text
  • Briedis M, Beran V, Hahn S, Adamík P (2016) Annual cycle and migration strategies of a habitat specialist, the Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris, revealed by geolocators. J. Ornithol. 157:619–626. doi: 10.1007/s10336-015-1313-3 Full text
  • Briedis M et al. (2016) Breeding latitude leads to different temporal but not spatial organization of the annual cycle in a long-distance migrant. J. Avian Biol.:online. doi: 10.1111/jav.01002 Full text
  • Emmenegger T, Hahn S, Arlettaz R, Amrhein V, Zehtindjiev P, Bauer S (2016) Shifts in vegetation phenology along flyways entail varying risks of mistiming in a migratory songbird. Ecosphere 7:e01385. doi: 10.1002/ecs2.1385 Full text
  • Gersten A, Hahn S (2016) Timing of migration in Common Redstarts (Phoenicurus phoenicurus) in relation to the vegetation phenology at residence sites. J. Ornithol. 157:1029-1036. doi: 10.1007/s10336-016-1359-x Full text
  • Koleček J et al. (2016) Cross-continental migratory connectivity and spatiotemporal migratory patterns in the great reed warbler. J. Avian Biol. 47:online. doi: 10.1111/jav.00929  Full text
  • Lislevand T, Briedis M, Heggøy O, Hahn S (2016) Seasonal migration strategies of Common Ringed Plovers Charadrius hiaticula. Ibis. doi: 10.1111/ibi.12424 Full text
  • Ouwehand J et al. (2016) Light-level geolocators reveal migratory connectivity in European populations of pied flycatchers Ficedula hypoleuca. J. Avian Biol. 47:69-83. doi: 10.1111/jav.00721 Full text
  • Prochazka P et al. (2016) Delineating large-scale migratory connectivity of reed warblers using integrated stochastic multi-state models. Diversity and Distributions:1-14. doi: 10.1111/ddi.12502 Full text
  • Lislevand, T., Hahn, S. (2015) Skipping-type migration in a small Arctic wader, the Temminck’s stint Calidris temminckii. J. Avian Biol. doi: 10.1111/jav.00653 Full text
  • Arbeiter, S., Schulze, M., Tamm, P., Hahn, S. (2015) Strong cascading effect of weather conditions on prey availability and annual breeding performance in European bee-eaters Merops apiaster. J. Ornithol.:1-9. doi: 10.1007/s10336-015-1262-x  Full text
  • Lislevand, T., Chutný, B., Byrkjedal, I., Pavel, V., Briedis, M., Adamik, P., Hahn, S. (2015) Red-spotted Bluethroats Luscinia s. svecica migrate along the Indo-European flyway: a geolocator study. Bird Study. doi: 10.1080/00063657.2015.1077781 Full text
  • Navedo, J.G., Hahn, S., Parejo, M., Abad-Gómez, J.M., Gutiérrez, J.S., Villegas, A., Sánchez-Guzmán, J.M., Masero, J. (2015) Unraveling trophic subsidies of agroecosystems for biodiversity conservation: food consumption and nutrient recycling by waterbirds in Mediterranean rice fields. Science of the Total Environment 511:288–297. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.12.068 Full text
  • Ouwehand, J., Ahola, M.P., Ausems, A., Bridge, E., Burgess, M., Hahn, S., Hewson, C.M., Klaassen, R.H.G., Laaksonen, T., Lampe, H.M., Velmala, W., Both, C. (2015) Light-level geolocators reveal migratory connectivity in European populations of pied flycatchers Ficedula hypoleuca. J. Avian Biol. DOI: 10.1111/jav.00721, Full text
  • Hahn, S., Emmenegger, T., Lisovski, S., Amrhein, V., Zehtindjiev, P. & Liechti, F. (2014) Variable detours in long-distance migration across ecological barriers and their relation to habitat availability at ground. Ecology and Evolution 4 (21): 41504160. (DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1279) Full text.
  • Hahn, S., Dimitrov, D., Rehse, S., Yohannes, E. & Jenni, L. (2014)
    Avian claw morphometry and growth determine the temporal pattern of archived stable isotopes. Journal of Avian Biology, 45, 202–207. (DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-048X.2013.00324.x ) Full text.
  • Emmenegger, T., Hahn, S. & Bauer, S. (2014)
    Individual migration timing of common nightingales is tuned with vegetation and prey phenology at breeding sites. BMC Ecology, 14, 9. (DOI: 10.1186/1472-6785-14-9) Full text.
  • Liechti, F., Scandolara, C., Rubolini, D., Ambrosini, R., Korner-Nievergelt, F., Hahn, S., Lardelli, R., Romano, M., Caprioli, M., Romano, A., Sicurella, B. & Saino, N. (2015) Timing of migration and residence areas during the non-breeding period of barn swallows Hirundo rustica in relation to sex and population. Journal of Avian Biology 46 (3): 254-265 (DOI 10.1111/jav.00485) Full text.
  • Arbeiter, S., Schnepel, H., Uhlenhaut, K., Bloege, Y., Schulze, M. & Hahn, S. (2014)
    Seasonal shift in the diet composition of European Bee-eaters Merops apiaster at the northern edge of distribution. Ardeola, 61, 161-170. (doi: 10.13157/arla.61.1.2014.161). Full text.
  • Scandolara, C., Rubolini, D., Ambrosini, R., Caprioli, M., Hahn, S., Liechti, F., Romano, A., Romano, M., Sicurella, B. & Saino, N. (2014)
    Impact of miniaturized geolocators on barn swallow Hirundo rustica fitness traits. Journal of Avian Biology, 45 (5): 415-423 (DOI: 10.1111/jav.00412) Full text.
  • Hahn, S., Amrhein, V., Zehtindjiev, P. & Liechti, F. (2013)
    Strong migratory connectivity and seasonally shifting isotopic niches in geographically separated populations of a long-distance migrating songbird. Oecologia, 173, 1217-1225 (doi: 10.1007/s00442-013-2726-4). Full text.
  • Van Wijk RE, Schaub M, Tolkmitt D, Becker D, Hahn S (2013)
    Short-distance migration of wrynecks Jynx torquilla from Central European populations. Ibis
    155 (4): 886-890. (doi: 10.1111/ibi.12083). Full text.
  • Salewski V, Flade M, Poluda A, Kiljan G, Liechti F, Lisovski S, Hahn S (2013)
    An unknown migration route of the ‘globally threatened’ Aquatic Warbler revealed by geolocators. J Ornithol 154: 549-552 (DOI: 10.1007/s10336-012-0912-5). Full text.
  • Emmenegger, T., Mayet, P., Duriez, O. & Hahn, S. (2013)
    Directional shifts in migration pattern of rollers (Coracias garrulus) from a western European population. Journal of Ornithology, 155, 427-433. (DOI: 10.1007/s10336-013-1023-7) Full text.
  • Lislevand, T. & Hahn, S. (2013)
    Effects of geolocator deployment by using flexible leg loop harnesses in a small wader. Wader Study Group Bulletin, 120, 108-113. Full text.
  • Arbeiter S, Schulze M, Todte I & Hahn S (2012)
    The migration behaviour and dispersal of European Bee-eaters (Merops apiaster) breeding in Saxony-Anhalt (Germany).
    Ber. Vogelwarte Hiddensee 33-40. Full text.
  • Lisovski S, Hahn S (2012)
    GeoLight – processing and analysing light-based geolocator data in R.Meth Ecol Evol 3 (6): 1155-1059 (DOI: 10.1111/j.2041-210X.2012.00248.x). Full text.
  • Lisovski S, Hewson CW,  Klaassen RHG, Korner-Nievergelt F, Kristensen MW, Hahn S (2012)
    Geolocation by light: accuracy and precision affected by environmental factors.
    Meth Ecol Evol online early (doi: 10.1111/j.2041-210X.2012.00185.x). Full text.
  • Hahn S, Hoye BJ, Korthals H, Klaassen M (2012)
    From food to offspring down: Tissue-specific discrimination and turn-over of stable isotopes in herbivorous waterbirds and other avian foraging guilds.
    PLoS ONE 7(2): e30242. (DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0030242). Full text.
  • Hoye BJ, Hahn S, Nolet B.A: Klaassen M (2012)
    Habitat use throughout migration: linking individual consistency, prior breeding success and future breeding potential.
    J Anim Ecol (doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2011.01948.x ). Full text.
  • Korner-Nievergelt F, Liechti F, Hahn S (2012)
    Migratory connectivity derived from sparse ring reencounter data with unknown numbers of ringed birds.
    J Ornithol (doi:10.1007/s10336-011-0793-z). Full text.
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