Posted by: atowhee | April 27, 2019


baby dipperSee the gaping gape?  At nest on Baker Creek Road, yesterday.  Photo by Audrey Addison. The young are in the nest about 7 to 10 days after they hatch, not long.  Once they fledge and leave the nest they don’t return.  Part of the fledging process requires the parents to tear a larger opening in the mossy nest. Once out of the nest the young are actually afraid of the stream and have to be lured into the water by adults dangling food before the hungry dipperlet(s). Their songbird DNA does not insist that they can swim, apparently only experience can teach them their innate skill in the water.  I know of no other songbird family that swims well–there are five dipper species around the world, all with similar habits and skills. Each young will retain its bright-colored gape for some days after leaving the nest.

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