American Dippers usually face upstream on exposed rocks before plunging into rushing rivers in search of aquatic insects. Utah photographer Ross Bartholomew used this knowledge to scout a promising spot along the Provo River last February during the 2020 Great Backyard Bird Count. He spent an hour on his belly on a snowy bank with two of his tripod legs in the river until a dipper perched perfectly on a moss-covered rock. The rising sun, water droplets, and sparkling ice on the far side of the river combined to create a bokeh effect that Bartholomew didn’t realize he had captured until after he looked at the photo.
Join in! The 2021 Great Backyard Bird Count happens Feb. 12–15.
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