[Tweeters] American Dipper 4/20

Don Wallace don at picturebookpublishing.com
Fri Apr 20 16:03:48 PDT 2012

The river has risen four+ inches in the last two days, and that has changed the hunting by the second female. I had said she was always going down stream, well today she was always going upriver, but staying about 100 yards from the first nest. The area she was working before is a narrower strip of the river, and the rocks are now under deeper, faster water. The male spends time at the second nest bringing food, but I have not seen much socializing between them. I watched them several times pass each other on the river; one coming from the nest, one going to it; they call out to each other as they pass by one another.

The babies at the first nest were getting more fish today; about 70% of the feedings were fish. We will see in the next few days if this rate holds up.

I have an observation for those watching the health of the Elwha. I saw an article with photos of the recent sediment run off from the dam removal, and one thing I observed with the dippers is that when the water is too cloudy they stay on the river's edge and do not venture out to the center or further than a couple of feet from shore. I saw this happen after a heavy warm rain and the Dungeness was couldy for a couple of days. Once it cleared they were right back into it. If this were not breeding season, I would think the dippers effected by this heavy sediment on the Elwha, would find a new home. Here is the article.

Don Wallace
don at e-picturebookdesigners.com

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