American Dipper: a swimming and singing songbird
The Good Life|February 2021
If you walk along a mountain stream almost anywhere in the western United States, you may see a uniformly gray bird standing on a rock near a riffle or rapid in the middle of the river.
BRUCE MCCAMMON

The bird is slightly smaller than an American Robin.

As you watch, the bird repeatedly bobs up and down.It hops into the water and then hops back up on the rock and birds bobs up and down some more.

Then, believe it or not, the bird dives into the water and disappears, emerging a short time later, upstream from therock you saw it use before and it is carrying a meal.

This is an American Dipper, our only swimming and diving songbird.

You may also hear it referred to as an Ouzel or Water Ouzel. John Muir referred to it as a Water Thrush.

No matter the name, this bird is unique and deserves your attention for a few minutes.

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