American Dipper | Bird of the Week

Birdwatching Opportunities in washington

American dipper

Cinclus mexicanus

American Dipper - Birdwatching in Okanogan County Photo by Mary Kiesau

"The American Dipper ~ also known by the much cooler name 'water ouzel' ~ looks like a boring, plump, dull gray bird that you could easily ignore. But look & listen, and you'll learn that this bird is anything but boring! The dipper, or ouzel, thrives in cold mountain rivers and streams - in fact its our only aquatic songbird. In the winter, it is common on our Valley rivers, but come late spring it starts to move up in elevation. By summertime you will only find it high in the mountains, bobbing and dipping (as its name implies) with bent legs on river rocks. They can walk on the bottom of rivers, dive and swim underwater using their wings as fins, and fly through waterfalls. But my favorite thing about this dull gray bird is its song which is beautiful, loud and sounds like pure joy on a frigid winter day when you'd think no bird would be singing so happily"

In memoriam of our dear friend, Mary Ellen Kiesau ~ one of the greatest naturalists to grace Okanogan Country. Gone so soon, but never forgotten.

American Dipper - Winter Birdwatching in Okanogan County Photo by Mary Kiesau

Fun Facts! 

Information from the Seattle Audubon Society
  • American Dippers not only can 'fly' underwater, but they will often fly directly through a waterfall.
  • While typically monogamous, American Dippers will occasionally engage in polygyny
  • The female incubates 4 to 5 eggs for 13 to 17 days while the male provides food. Once the young hatch, the female broods them for about a week, and then joins the male in providing food for them. The young leave the nest at 24 to 26 days, and can swim and dive immediately after leaving the nest!
American Dipper - Birdwatching in Okanogan County Photo by Tom Reichner

more to explore

Find fun winter recreation right here! Everything from skiing to snowshoeing to ice fishing to fat biking! Enjoy the sparkling snow and warm hospitality that follows.