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Gallery: A Sparkling Moment with an American Dipper

By Ross Bartholomew
American Dipper by Photo by Ross Bartholomew.
American Dipper by Photo by Ross Bartholomew.

From the Winter 2021 issue of Living Bird magazine. Subscribe now.

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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American Kestrel by Blair Dudeck / Macaulay Library

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