Sporting a Melodious
are water Birds
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Picture American Dipper
Dippers are a group of perching birds whose habitat includes
aquatic environments in the Americas, Europe, and Asia.
Usually they inhabit the banks of fast-moving hillside rivers,
though some nest near shallow lakes. They have dense feathers
with a down undercoat, providing them excellent insulation
Dippers submerge and walk on the bottom to feed on insect larvae.
They are about 8 inches in size with a short tail and wings.
The dipper is named for its bobbing or dipping movements, is also
known as ousel, ouzel, or water ouzel.
The American Dipper has strong legs and like other dippers,
special oil glands which enable them to adapt to a watery
American Dippers are fairly common birds along the larger,
rapid mountain streams.
Dippers can dive and propel themselves under the water with
swimming motions of their wings. In shallow water, they walk
along the bottom of streams. They use their wings to help
them stay submerged.
American Dippers are well insulated. Their plumage is unusually
dense, and they have a greater number of outer feathers than do
most other perching birds
The name dipper comes from this bird's habit of bending its
legs so its entire body moves up and down in a dipping motion.
Dipping takes place most frequently when the birds are closely
approached or disturbed; they rarely dip when
feeding or resting.
The bird is stocky, about 7 1/2 inches long, with a short tail.
Plumage is sooty, solid gray, with a short tail, white eyelids.
Juveniles and adults of both genders are very similar.
Flight is low and direct.
Song is melodious with trills and repetitions.
Dippers are also called water ouzels.
Nests are composed of an outer shell of moss and small amounts
of interwoven grass and roots, with an inner, cup-like lining
of dry, coarse grass.
Usually placed where water spray keeps the outer structures
green and moist; the coarse inner grass resists moisture,
so the insides remain relatively dry.
Dippers lay 3 to 7 white eggs which are incubated 16 to 18 days.
Dippers feed almost exclusively underwater on larval forms
of aquatic insects, less on small fish and fish eggs,
and some surface insects.
Types of Dippers include:
White-throated Dipper or European Dipper
Index of Perching Birds
Magnificent Stuffed Birds
Delightful Bird Calendars