Living Bird Magazine
American DipperCinclus mexicanus
- ORDER: Passeriformes
- FAMILY: Cinclidae
A chunky bird of western streams, the American Dipper is North America's only truly aquatic songbird. It catches all of its food underwater in swiftly flowing streams by swimming and walking on the stream bottom.More ID Info
- Mirlo Acuático Norteamericano (Spanish)
- Cincle d'Amérique (French)
- Cool Facts
- The American Dipper chooses a nest site, invariably along a stream, that provides security from floods and predators. Availability of suitable nest sites appears to limit its populations.
- 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, but similarly to ducks, the American Dipper molts its wing and tail feathers all at once in the late summer. The bird is flightless during this time.
- The oldest American Dipper was over 8 years old, when it was recaptured and rereleased during a banding operation in South Dakota.