[Tweeters] Dipper behavior questions

don at picturebookpublishing.com don at picturebookpublishing.com
Sat Jul 27 00:24:17 PDT 2013


Barry,

Adult American Dippers will go to lakes after their breeding season is over, but they would have come from a river or creek that feeds into the lake. Most likely it my have been a juvenal looking for new territory, the color of the beak is how to distinguish a youngster. the beak will be orange. The time of year also says it was a juvenile, this is the end of the breeding season for most dippers. If adults are not still caring for their young, they might wander into a lake if their territory is close by. A juvenile from a first brood, at this time, may work the edges of a lake until it finds a river or creek that can support its lifestyle. A dipper's life is and always will be the swift waters of a river, it would be an extremely rare occurrence for a dipper to make home in a lake.

Dippers stay in the same rivers they breed in, but will move up or down those waters in the off season. As for molting this is too early, and they hide out very cautiously during molt; the adults are flightless during that period.

So the most likely scenario was that it was a juvenile enjoying its new life looking forward to becoming an adult and finding a mate to share a place on the moving waters of a river.

Learn from observation, not banding.

Don Wallace
Sequim, WA




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