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Bay Area Bird Blog » American Dippers = Ouzels
2nd 2008
American Dippers = Ouzels

Posted under bird behavior & birds (general)

Wikipedia photo of an American Dipper = Water Ouzel [Wikipedia photo of an American Dipper a.k.a. Water Ouzel]

I’ve been visiting my parents and uncle in Boulder, Colorado for the past couple of days.  Yesterday we went for a hike in the rockies, to a place called Ouzel Falls.  “Water Ouzel” is the old name for what is now called the American Dipper.  Dippers=ouzels are pretty amazing. They are little dark grey birds that don’t look like much, but they can do the remarkable trick of diving into rushing water — right into the rapids — and down to the bottom, where it feeds on aquatic insects and larvae and that sort of thing.  On the hike along the creek to the falls we checked at every viewpoint to see if there were any ouzels around, and were disappointed not to see any. But on the way back, my uncle saw an ouzel doing the characteristic bobbing motion that gives the dipper its name…and a few seconds later mom showed up and fed it a larva or something! We watched for about ten minutes. Mom was a very efficient hunter, rarely going two minutes without finding something to eat. Neat.

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