Posted by: atowhee | April 14, 2018


At 540 PM today, April 14, the Baker Creek dipper nest was still intact.  Nestlings stills inside.  We now know there are at least three, thanks to this brilliant shot by Russell Smith who came down from Portland yesterday to get some pictures:A13 DIPPER NESTDippers are not quick to mature for a bird of their size.  The chicks are incubated in the eggs for up to 17 days while male brings food to the female.  Then both parents feed the nestlings who don’t fledge until they are 24 days old [these may have some time to go]. After fledging begins, dipper parents have to lure the young into the water for the first time.  They do NOT take to it like ducklings.  Four or five eggs is usual.  A similar sized bird is the Hermit Thrush.  Their young are in the egg about twelve days and in another twelve days begin to fly and leave the nest.  About 60% of the time needed by young dippers.  But the dipper has to have more feathers and develops a blood stream with double the usual hemoglobin of medium-sized slngbirds…all necessary for their life and around cold, fast-flowing streams.

Dippers were once common in most fast-flowing streams in western U.S.  Now in many areas they’ve been pushed back into mountains by development, dams and pollution.  There are five dipper species altogether.  The gray one here, two in Latin America, two in Eurasia with one  that is also found in northernmost Africa.  Ours is the only monochromatic one.  The others leaven the gray with white or red.


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