American Dipper

The Dipper is a winter visitor in our parts and this year has presented a challenge to photograph. He seems to enjoy the darkest part of the creek and blends in quite well with the small boulders in the stream making spotting him difficult. We waited for eternity for him to hop up on the small sunlight boulder in the photo but no luck.
We were happy to watch him foraging in these small rapids and get a glimpse or two of him above the water as he spent about 95% of his time head down collecting dinner. Hope this guy finds plenty of food and hangs around so we can get another opportunity to watch him.
Amazing bird for sure.

30 thoughts on “American Dipper

  1. I live in Florida and the Dippers do not come this far south but I had learned about them and seen their marvelous talents in a David Attenborough show. Last summer I was in South Dakota and on a hike I spied one on a log. It was a highlight of the trip!

    1. Hi Lb, the second photo is how we normally see this guy as he is very busy dipping away in the water. Hope your day is going well and you are getting well prepared for the holidays.

    1. Hi Tieme, yes patience seems to be the key with birds and sometimes a little luck is involved also. We did spend a fair amount of time watching this guy until we were able to get him a good photo with his head out of the water.

      1. Hi Mike, you are absolutely right, a little luck is needed to! As a reward for being patient šŸ˜‰

        I once photographed a little bird building a nest, I spent over half an hour waiting for the best shot.

        Kind regards,

  2. We chased this guy around in Yellowstone and Tetons for more than a week — nary a one. Finally caught up with him in Glacier NP, Father’s Day. Fitting that Dad got found him — along with the Harlequin Duck and Varied Thrush — that made it the most splendid day of our birding vacation last year.

    Great shot! I was unable to get a decent shot as he was busy nest building and flying back and forth, in addition to his disappearing under water.

    1. My only shot of him. At the time, I was shooting with a 200mm-400mm lens, and he was way off. Same probs as you; he just wouldn’t stay still or venture off the rocks into some contrast. With four kids at home, I have no time for post-processing. WYSIWYG for me!

        1. Oh yes! The extender. I have one for a 180mm lens that I’ve not used in a while. Nice to have a bag of tricks…you no doubt have yours! Cheers. Love your photography.

    2. Yes the Dippers is one tough bird to film. We have seen them in Yellowstone very often usually just out of photo range. Well at least out of great photo range. One winter we watch one feeding and diving into the roughest water neat very large waterfalls. Amazing. A varied Thrush would be fun to see. I have only gotten glimpse of one once.

      1. The varied thrush has a unique song, and when heard reverberating through the temperate rainforest of Glacier’s cedars and cypress, it is positively stimulating! I do hope you get one, and that you get up to Glacier. It fills the senses.

        1. Hi Shannon, I am looking forward to getting to hear the song of the varied Thrush. In general I really enjoy the songs that all thrushes I have heard have and getting to hear it in GNP would be icing on the cake.

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