Taking a Dip

Set of 6. The American Dipper. A fascinating songbird. Without webbed feet they swim in icy cold rushing currents. They walk and scramble along the bottom of the river, and they dive in and out hopping onto the stones with remarkable speed and agility. (You can see this one on video HERE) They have extra eyelids that appear white but are transparent and protect their eyes but allow them to see under the water. You can see the white lid in the third image. They’re industrious feeders and aggressively protect their territories. They usually nest in hidden crevasses behind small falls of water or other difficult to access spots along mountain streams.

Although their grey toned feathers blend masterfully into the colors of the river rocks, they’re easy to spot by their movement – especially their trademark bobbing or dipping motion as they stand on the rocks between ‘fishing’ dives. I see them often in my yard and along the river trail, methodically moving along the shoreline or fully in the rushing water in one direction. If you spot one and would like a closer look, just note which direction they’re traveling and get near the waterline well ahead of them. If you’re still, they’re quite bold in how near they’ll pass by you. Though if they spook at all they’ll generally fly completely away up or downstream.


About sherijkennedyriverside

Left brain, right brain, I can't decide. After many years of successful visual arts pursuits, I'm working on my other creative inclinations. For the past 8 years, writing has been my second full time job, and it's worth every sleepless night. Sheri J. Kennedy grew up mostly a city-girl coasthopping from Seattle to rural Pennsylvania, Miami and back to Seattle. She currently resides on the banks of the Snoqualmie River in the scenic Cascade Mountains. Her heart has found its home.
This entry was posted in Birds, nature, pacific nw, photography, Six photo project, Wildlife and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Taking a Dip

  1. dedmanshootn says:

    wonderful! especially the video. so clear and sharp!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, very please with the new zoom and HD. I also noticed the anti-shake for video works better on the new camera. Although I opted to share the video that was slightly less zoomed in. When I was even tighter on the bird, it became distracting to follow since the frame moved more often. I liked the detail in the bird better, but what good does it do if you can’t stay focused on it due to too much movement. Lesson learned. That’s why I tried many settings and distances that day…and will continue to experiment. Apparently you can get too close! 🙂


  2. bluebrightly says:

    Love love the Dippers! I like your tips for watching them – clearly you’ve had practice and I’m jealous. They aren’t around here, of course, so when I see them it’s because i’m somewhere else, and it’s always a big treat.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hehe, yes, when I wrote this post, I realized how very well I’ve gotten to know them in the last 10 years. A little of the info was from what I’d read about them in the past, but most of it was from observation. I didn’t research currently before writing. They’re fascinating, and absorb much of my time and attention whenever I have the luxury to give it to them. I can find them almost any time I go looking. Still a treat!

      Liked by 1 person

      • bluebrightly says:

        I remember hearing one sing on a late winter day out past Duvall, and we found it. What a beautiful song it had, especially on that very dreary gray day.

        Liked by 1 person

        • For some reason I was shocked at what a beautiful song they had. Perhaps it just didn’t seem likely given all their other remarkable talents. They also scold with great vigor and I sometime find them by hearing that from inside the house with windows closed. Like most birds, they are especially noisy in Spring when territories are most important.


  3. Pingback: Winged Painters | sheri j kennedy ~ Riverside

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