Tuesday, August 7, 2012

D is for Dipper

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An American Dipper or Water Ouzel (Cinclus mexicanus) browsing the waters of the Virgin River at Zion National Park, Utah. It didn't go for a dive, but pecked around the stones, perfectly comfortable admist the rushing water. Dippers can swim and dive very well. Their nictitating membrane allows them to see underwater and they can close their nostils with scales.

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They feed on insects and will live only near unpolluted water. To keep warm, their plumage is very thick and extra oily so it doesn't get wet at all, even diving during their winter is not a problem for them, as long as the water is free of ice.

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I also saw this little guy at Zion, can anyone identify the species for me? He was very skittish and I didn't manage to get a better photo, I'm sorry.

Sources:
All About Birds
South Dakota Birds
Wikipedia

A post for ABC Wednesday and Nature Notes

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