American Dipper

Cinclus mexicanus

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Dipper (Cinclidae)

Code 4

AMDI

Code 6

CINMEX

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The American Dipper occurs along cold, clean, rushing rivers and streams in western North America south to western Panama. The range of the American Dipper is quite large and estimated to be nearly 5 million square kilometers. The American Dipper's population is thought to be around 190,000 individual birds. In 2000 the American Dipper had an evaluation of Lower Concern, but since that time the evaluation has been downgraded to a Least Concern due the fact that there is no immediate concern regarding population levels.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

American Dipper: Small, wren-like bird, dark gray with short, cocked tail, white eyelids that flash when blinked. Straight black bill. Wades, swims and dives for food. Feeds on aquatic insects, larvae, clams, snails, crustaceans, and small fish. Strong direct flight on rapid wing beats.

 

Range and Habitat

American Dipper: Found from central Alaska and Yukon south, throughout the Rocky Mountains, Cascades, and Sierra Nevada, and as far south as Mexico and Panama. Inhabits swift flowing mountain streams; less frequently found along mountain ponds and lakes. Occasionally appears on rocky coasts during winter.

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American Dipper SONGS AND CALLS

American Dipper C1

Call is a harsh, quick "zeet-zeet-zeet".

American Dipper C2

Song is a series of high-pitched whistles and trills.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"zzeip, zzreip, rreip"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • This species is equipped with an extra eyelid called a nictitating membrane that allows it to see underwater, and scales that close its nostrils when submerged.
  • To be able to survive in cold waters during the winter, the American Dipper has a low metabolic rate, extra oxygen-carrying capacity in its blood, and a thick coat of feathers.
  • Unlike most other songbirds, it molts its wing and tail feathers all at once in the late summer. It is flightless during this time.
  • A group of dippers are collectively known as a "ladle" of dippers.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Yury Lisyak

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CrownX
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