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American Dipper
American Dipper
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Cinclidae
Genus: Cinclus
Borkhausen, 1797
  • Cinclus cinclus
  • Cinclus leucocephalus
  • Cinclus mexicanus
  • Cinclus pallasii
  • Cinclus schulzi

Dippers are members of the genus Cinclus in the bird family Cinclidae. They are a group of perching birds whose habitat includes aquatic environments in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. They are named for their bobbing or dipping movements.

Usually they inhabit the banks of fast-moving hillside rivers, though some nest near shallow lakes. They have dense feathers with a down undercoat, an advanced nictitating eye membrane and a larger preen gland for waterproofing their plumage. Their blood can store more oxygen than other passerine birds which allows them to remain underwater for up to 10 seconds.

These adaptations let them submerge and walk on the bottom to feed on insect larvae. They are about 8 inches in size with a short tail and wings and resemble the wrens, though there is no clear relationship.

Cinclus is the only genus in the family Cinclidae. The White-throated Dipper was also known historically in Britain as ouzel, or water ouzel (sometimes being spelt ousel).


  • White-throated Dipper or European Dipper, Cinclus cinclus
    White-capped Dipper Cinclus leucocephalus
    American Dipper Cinclus mexicanus
    Brown Dipper Cinclus pallasii
    Rufous-throated Dipper Cinclus schulzi

External links

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This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.