American Dippers are one of my favourite birds. What they lack in colour they make up for with their behaviour.
Dippers forage along rivers with rocky bottoms feeding on aquatic insect larvae, salmon fry and salmon eggs when available. When the water is too deep to wade in they will swim along the bottom of the river. Since they spend so much time in cold water dippers produce lots of oils to allow the water to slick off their feathers.
Once they have found some food they tend to swim back to shore or to a rock where they can smash their catch against the surface. Possibly to kill it, and also to remove the shell if it has one. On land they are often bobbing up and down in place, that’s probably where the dipper name comes from. Dippers also have one of my favourite sounding songs, which they sing year round. I’ve just learned that both males and females sing, in most species it is just the males that sing.
#Cinclusmexicanus #AmericanDipper #Goldstream #BCParks
Goldstream, British Columbia