[Tweeters] American Dipper Foraging in Still Water (no, not Stillwater the location)

johntubbs at comcast.net johntubbs at comcast.net
Thu Feb 12 00:02:33 PST 2009




Hi everyone,



Earlier this week, while doing volunteer work in the Cedar River watershed for one of their wildlife biologists, I observed unusual (at least to me) behavior by an American Dipper.  My experience and everything I recall reading about them has them as denizens of moving water - streams - particularly mountain streams or at least streams with generally clear water since they forage underwater by sight.  Well, I came across a Dipper actively foraging along a lake shore.  The bird was hopping about on partially submerged sticks and other lakeside vegetation, picking underwater but generally only by submerging its head - I didn't see it actually full submerge as the birds do in streams.



Is this behavior very rare, as it is in my experience, or have I just not had occasion to run across it before?



I wondered if this behavior might be related to the recent floods, which had very noticeable effects on the small feeder creeks to the Cedar River - several had been heavily scoured out by the water.  This scouring action could have adversely affected the aquatic insect life on the stream beds, causing the bird to go looking for food elsewhere, I suppose.



John Tubbs

Snoqualmie, WA

johntubbs at comcast.net




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