Jan 27 2014


Published by at 7:10 am under Bird Behavior,Songbirds

American dipper (photo by Stsve Valasek)

When birders don't see a bird they're specifically looking for some of them say they "dipped" on that bird.  Loosely speaking, dipping means "I didn't find it."  It comes from British birding slang.

Though I've never searched out an American dipper, I have certainly missed seeing one when I was in the right habitat for North America's only aquatic songbird. (Dippers swim!)

Last year Steve Valasek set himself the challenge of finding all the birds listed in a small New Mexico field guide by the end of 2013.  He looked for American dippers but didn't find one until ten days into 2014.  Click here to read his account of finally not dipping on this American dipper.

(photo by Steve Valasek)

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Dipping”

  1. steveon 27 Jan 2014 at 9:59 am

    Thanks Kate!
    I’d just like to add that this Dipper is way out of it’s normal habitat. Instead of being in a fast-flowing mountain stream with lots of rapids, it has been hanging out in a placid suburban stream.

  2. Nannie Underwoodon 27 Jan 2014 at 10:43 am

    We saw a group of dippers on one of our epic camping trips to the west. When I spotted the movement, I sat down beside the stream and watched until I determined that YES, it is a bird in the water. They are very fast.

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