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Life in Freshwater

Dipper (Cinclus cinclus)

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The Dipper (Cinclus cinclus)

This bird is unmistakable. It is 18 cm long, plump, brown with a dazzling white throat and breast. The continental race of dipper is known as the Black-bellied Dipper because of it's dark underparts. The rufous brown of the British race distinguishes the two.

Common resident throughout the British Isles, except the south east. Found on swift flowing streams, (and sometimes lake edges and pools) of moorland and mountains.

Dipper swimming in fast flowing water

ECOLOGY: Its flight is generally fast and whirring. It's voice is a loud `clink' and it's song includes long warbling notes and loud single notes. The territory of a dipper can stretch up to half a mile along a stream. A Dipper will build it's domed nest, made out of moss and dead leaves, behind waterfalls, in rocky outcrops and under bridges. The Dipper is unusual for the fact that it swims and feeds on the stream bed. The diet is mainly water insects, which includes beetles, bugs, mayflies, stoneflies and various larvae. The Dipper has a membrane, called the nictitating membrane, which acts as a thin, transparent eyelid to protect the eye when underwater.











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