American Dipper

Cinclus mexicanus

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Dipper (Cinclidae)

Code 4

AMDI

Code 6

CINMEX

ITIS

Egg Color:

White



Number of Eggs:

3 - 6



Incubation Days:

13 - 17



Egg Incubator:

Female



Nest Location:

0 - 8 feet above the stream., On a rock ledge.



Nest Material:

Mosses.



Migration:

Nonmigratory



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General

American Dipper: Small, wren-like bird, dark gray overall with short, cocked tail and white eyelids that flash when blinked. Bill and legs are dark. Sexes are similar, but female is slightly smaller. Juvenile is paler with white, streaked underparts and yellow legs and bill.

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.

Breeding and Nesting

American Dipper: Three to six white eggs are laid in a globe-shaped nest made of mosses with a side entrance. Nest is built close to water, on a rock ledge, riverbank, behind a waterfall, or under a bridge. Incubation ranges from 13 to 17 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

American Dipper: Feeds on insects, small fish, and fish eggs. Plunges into streams headfirst, propelling itself through the water (with or against the current) with wings. Often walks or runs along the streambed while submersed; also forages while wading.

Vocalization

American Dipper: Song consists of high whistles or trills repeated a few times. Call is a loud, shrill "zzeip, zzreip, rreip."

Similar Species

American Dipper: None in range.

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X