American Dipper


In my travels photographing the Eastern Sierras, I decided to settle down on the edge of Mammoth Creek and sit with my telephoto lens to see what creature may happen by.


After a few minutes of waiting, I tracked a couple of Mallard ducks as they fed in the stream.  This is pretty simple photography work. Just hunker down in a warm dry spot and with a gimbal tripod head, that will allow you move your camera around to track whatever comes by. After watching the ducks for while, a couple of non-discript birds landed on the creek and started feeding as well.  So I called my long time friend, photographer and naturalist,  David Bozsik and he gave me the information on these birds. (When you are done reading this blog, click on his link and go check out his work.)



These birds are called the American Dipper (or the Water Ousel).  These clever little birds make their home in small creeks, streams and rivers.  They have highly water repellent feathers that allow them to submerge themselves by grabing on to the creek rocks on the bottom of the stream and work their way along feeding on invertebrates on the creek bed. 

Their nesting sites are built out of mosses and are typically found under waterfalls, which make the nest very hard to find for predators and photographers. 

Next time you are in an area where these birds are found, sit still and and maybe you can  watch these fascinating birds work the waterways.

Copyright 2015, Terry VanderHeiden