Posted by: atowhee | May 24, 2010

Monday Is Dipperday

Each of these images shows a different feeding foray by the adult Dippers.  Sometimes one adult was in the nest and then a food delivery would be greeted by Dipper song from within globular nest.  One time both Dippers flew in opposite directions, but at least once they both flew downstream to hunt.  How do they decide?  Trial and error?

One Dipper was in the nest about half the time I watched, presumably to supply body heat for the young.  The air temp was about 60 degrees but there’s a breeze along the creek and the humidity (dampness) is near 100%.

Here’s an image of Dipper delivering food, clinging to lip of the opening. The a blurred hurried shot of Dipper beginning to flutter away from the nest hole.

The adult bird never flies directly into the nest hole.  Each time the successful hunter stops on a rock in the stream before the short delivery flight which is quite fluttery even though direct.  Not every time does the adult find it necessary to cling to the nest, delivery can be done while hovering at the opening.

A pair of MacGillivray’s Warblers appear to be nesting in the berry thicket just to the right of the Dipper bridge as you face the Dipper nest from downstream.  Still plenty of singing and feeding Western Tanagers in the woods thereabouts.

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