Dipper

DipperDipper — Dippers are a group of perching birds whose habitat includes aquatic environments in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Usually they inhabit the banks of fast-moving hillside rivers, though some nest near shallow lakes. They have dense feathers with a down undercoat, providing them excellent insulation qualities. Dippers submerge and walk on the bottom to feed on insect larvae. They are about 8 inches in size with a short tail and wings. The dipper is named for its bobbing or dipping movements, is also known as ousel, ouzel, or water ouzel.

Usually they inhabit the banks of fast-moving hillside rivers, though some nest near shallow lakes. They have dense feathers with a down undercoat, an advanced nictitating eye membrane and a larger preen gland for waterproofing their plumage. Their blood can store more oxygen than other passerine birds which allows them to remain underwater for up to 10 seconds.

These adaptations let them submerge and walk on the bottom to feed on insect larvae. They are about 8 inches in size with a short tail and wings and resemble the wrens, though there is no clear relationship. Cinclus is the only genus in the family Cinclidae. The White-throated Dipper was also known historically in Britain as ouzel, or water ouzel (sometimes being spelt ousel).

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