American Dipper At Zion National Park

I was on the trail leading to the Narrows in Zion National Park when I spotted this American Dipper on the Virgin River. This was my first time seeing this bird. I have heard about them and have seen photos but seeing one in action was amazing. I took a couple of quick photos but they just didn’t show how this bird does in the water. I switched to video mode on the Canon SX50 HS and captured the above video. I was hand holding the camera at full zoom. I was cold and shaking but I think you can see how this bird feeds in the river. The American Dipper was on a log that was laying in the water.

This species, like other dippers, is equipped with an extra eyelid called a “nictitating membrane” that allows it to see underwater, and scales that close its nostrils when submerged. Dippers also produce more oil than most birds, which may help keep them warmer when seeking food underwater. (Wikipedia)

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6 Comments

  1. Susan April 23, 2013 at 6:56 am #

    What an awesome way to share your lifer, great video

  2. Gladys April 23, 2013 at 7:16 am #

    Pretty amazing, Steve. You would think it would be swept away by the current.

  3. Liz April 23, 2013 at 8:22 am #

    It is amazing Steve. I was thinking exactly the same as Gladys said in her comment. I’m in awe that the Dipper isn’t swept away by the current. Thank you for sharing the clip, hard to believe without seeing!

  4. Cindy H April 23, 2013 at 8:54 am #

    Wow, what an innocuous little bird with pretty powerful feet! I totally agree with Gladys and Liz! :)

  5. Mia McPherson April 23, 2013 at 9:22 am #

    A terrific video of the Dipper Steve!

  6. Mike Martin April 25, 2013 at 11:44 am #

    Very interesting bird and video, Steve. I’m never seen one of these and couldn’t believe he could handle the current that well with almost his whole body submerged. Thanks for sharing this!

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