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Fun Dipper Bird Facts For Kids

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Outdoor & NatureLearn more

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Dippers are a genus of birds that thrive near fast-flowing rivers, streams, and other water habitats. The nest of these birds is usually large in size and has two layers. The outer layer of the nest is covered with moss and leaves, while the inner layer is mostly rootlets and grass and is much softer. The nests are built in areas where there is water or a stream nearby. The habitat regions of these birds range from America, Asia, and Europe. The American dipper, a species of these birds, can be found across regions of North America. These North American birds feed on small fish and invertebrates. They possess certain unique abilities which enable them to stay under the water of a stream or any water body for a long period of time. Over the years, the decline in the water quality of streams and rivers has had a significant effect on their population, along with hunting. The conservation status is Least Concern, as of now.

 If you are fascinated by the dipper bird, then you may want to continue reading our other amazing facts about them. If you want to learn more about different animals around the world, check out these pied crow and marsh wren.

Dipper Bird Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a dipper bird?

Dippers are a group of birds.

What class of animal does a dipper bird belong to?

The dipper bird belongs to the Aves class of animals.

How many dipper birds are there in the world?

The exact population of dippers is not known. However, there is no immediate threat to their conservation status. They cannot be considered rare. Hunting and water pollution have caused there to be a decline in their population, which may affect their conservation status in the near future.

Where does a dipper bird live?

The dipper bird can be found across the regions of America, Asia, and Europe. Some populations of this species can also be found in the Atlas mountains of Morocco, Africa.

What is a dipper bird's habitat?

The dipper bird can be found in a range of freshwater habitats such as near the banks of upland rivers or streams. Sometimes they can also be found near sea coasts.

Who do dipper birds live with?

Dippers are monogamous by nature, that is they mate only with one partner. These birds can be found in pairs, especially during the breeding season. They are extremely territorial by nature.

How long does a dipper bird live?

The maximum lifespan attained by these birds is known to be eight years and one month.

How do they reproduce?

The nest built by dipper birds is known to be quite large in size. Nests are usually built in areas where there is water or a stream nearby. Both males and females take part in building the nests. The outer part of the nest which is covered with leaves and moss is built by the male, while the inner part of the nest built by the female is made of grass and rootlets and is much softer. A female can lay up to two to seven eggs at a time. The incubation period lasts for 16-17 days following which hatching of the eggs occurs and the young ones are born.

What is their conservation status?

Dippers thrive near fast-flowing rivers with good water quality, where there is an abundant source of food nearby. Therefore, water pollution can potentially threaten its range of habitat. They are also hunted by human beings, which has declined their range of population further. As of now, dippers are considered to be Least Concern.

Dipper Bird Fun Facts 

What do dipper birds look like?

This species of bird has a plump body with strong long legs. The coloration of their plumage can range from dark brown to white, according to their subspecies like the American dipper and white-throated dipper. Rufous-throated dippers are known to have brown-colored plumage. They are known to have inner eyelids, which help them to see underwater. Adult males of this species are generally larger in size than the females..

Dipper birds can stay underwater.

How cute are they?

By description, dipper birds are extremely cute like hummingbirds. With their plump body and short tails, they make quite a beautiful species of birds. A group of dippers is a sight to behold.

How do they communicate?

Dippers communicate with each other mainly through sounds. Their calls sound similar to the other birds that can be found near fast rivers. They produce a 'zit-zit' sound which is so high pitched and loud so that it can be heard over the roar of the water. Other than vocalization, they are also known to exhibit different behaviors to send messages. When they feel threatened, they usually dip or bow and blink their eyes in a rapid manner so as to flash the white inner eyelids. This behavior is also shown while mating.

How big is a dipper bird?

Dippers are plump birds and their size can range from 5.5–8.7 in (14–22 cm). Adult dippers are usually larger in size than females. They are almost the same size as a fox sparrow.

How fast can a dipper bird fly?

The dipper bird species can be found most of the time under the water of a stream or any water body, where they hunt for food or to escape potential predators. Their unique physiological adaptation helps them to stay underwater. The dense plumage and oil glands in their feathers make them waterproof. Their wings are rather short in size, enabling them to have a low whirring flight. A dipper bird in flight is unique from other birds.

How much does a dipper bird weigh?

The size of an adult dipper ranges from 1.4–3.2 oz (40–90 g). They are bulkier than a chipping sparrow.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There is no sex-specific name for this species of bird.

What would you call a baby dipper bird?

Baby dippers are known as chicks.

What do they eat?

A dipper can be found alongside the margins of a stream or underwater, searching for food. The diet of dippers mainly consists of small fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and several other invertebrates. They swim and dive underwater, looking for prey, using their adaptable wings.

Are they dangerous?

Dippers are not dangerous like a hawk. They generally feed on small fish and other invertebrates found in streams and rivers. They try to steer clear of human beings and when encountered are most likely to flee. When they feel threatened, they may display certain behaviors but won't attack at the first chance.

Would they make a good pet?

Dippers are best kept in the wild where they can have their freedom and move comfortably. Although they do not possess any direct threat to human beings, it is still not a good idea to keep them in captivity. The best way to take care of them is to let them be in the wild.

Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.

Did you know...

There are various species of dippers, like the white-throated dipper, American dipper (Cinclus mexicanus), and brown dipper.

The American dipper( Cinclus mexicanus) can be found across the regions of North America, Central America, and Mexico. These North American birds also feed on fish eggs and invertebrates like insects and flies found in streams and rivers. The plumage of these North American birds is gray in color.

The 'Cornell Lab Of Ornithology' is the best bird guide which contains a detailed study of these birds.

Naming The Dipper Bird

Dippers are called this because of their dipping or bowing behavior. This behavior is usually shown in the face of danger or during mating, when they dip or bow and blink their eyes rapidly, flashing their white inner eyelids.

How is it different from other birds of the Cinclidae family?

Dippers belong to the family Cinclidae, which is a part of the order Passeriformes. What differentiates dippers from passerines is their ability to move and stay underwater. Their feathers and feet are adapted in such a way that they can spend a lot of time under the water, feeding on fish eggs and invertebrates. They are also known to have nasal flaps which stop the water from entering their nostrils.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these common myna facts and blue tit facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable sparrow coloring pages.

Second image by KaleighAlysse

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