American Dipper

American Dippers of Crater Lake National Park

Dipper on the Rock, acrylic  painting by Larry Eifert - all rights reserved
Dipper on the Rock, acrylic painting by Larry Eifert – all rights reserved
A Crater Lake Dipper essay from 80 years ago
By Permanent Ranger Don C. Fisher – 1932 Nature Notes
Did you ever walk along a stream and see a bird resembling a thrush or blue bird balance for a moment on some rock then slip headlong into the water only to reappear a moment later, climb back to its perch and with a shrill chatter flit over to some other stone.

This bird is the Dipper or Water Ouzel and is perhaps the strangest bird of our park. Without web feet or any other special adaptation, this little fellow has selected the creeks as his place of abode and finds his food among the rocks in the shallow portions of the stream. When it is feeding under the water the bird will walk along the bottom using its wing to assist in the progress.

In color the Ouzel is slate gray and the stout chunky shape of the bird along with its custom of dipping distinguishes it from any other bird in the park.

The nest is made of a great quantity of moss and it usually found under some water fall or upon the face of some slick rock where it is almost impossible for anything to reach it.

The bird possesses a strong sweet song made up of a great variety of trills and flute-like notes which is delivered with all of the vim that the little fellow possesses.

Recently one of the visitors in the park was fly casting in Sun Creek. Seeing a likely looking pool he decided to try a cast. Whipping the fly to the proper spot he allowed it to float under the old mossy log across the lower end of the pool and soon a tug at his line announced a strike and he was greatly astonished when he drew up his line and found his catch to be an ouzel.

American Dipper by Robert Mutch
American Dipper by Robert Mutch
More dippers in Nature Notes From Crater Lake
 Other Related Links
  • DippersNature Notes by Dr. Frank Lang
 << previousnext >>