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Photo Information
Copyright: Pekka Valo (pekkavalo1) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 423 W: 54 N: 2120] (6789)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-03-20
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 40D, Sigma EX 500mm f4.5 APO HSM, RAW ISO 1000, Kenko Teleplus Pro 300 DG 1.4x
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/250 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-08-03 14:23
Viewed: 4301
Points: 20
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
An adult Dipper at Ogmore River in South Wales. Light rain and the light was very low as you may see from my camera settings.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Dippers are members of the genus Cinclus in the bird family Cinclidae. They are named for their bobbing or dipping movements. They are unique among passerines for their ability to dive and swim underwater.

Dippers are small, stout, short-tailed, short-winged, strong-legged birds. The different species are generally dark brown (sometimes nearly black), or brown and white in colour, apart from the Rufous-throated Dipper which is brown with a reddish-brown throat patch. Sizes range from 14-22 cm in length and 40-90 g in weight, with males larger than females. Their short wings give them a distinctive whirring flight. They have a characteristic bobbing motion when perched beside the water, giving them their name.

Distribution and habitat
Dippers are found in suitable freshwater habitats in the highlands of the Americas, Europe and Asia. In Africa they are only found in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. They inhabit the banks of fast-moving upland rivers with cold, clear waters, though, outside the breeding season, they may visit lake shores and sea coasts.

Unlike many water birds, dippers are generally similar in form to many terrestrial birds (for example they do not have webbed feet), but they do have some morphological and physiological adaptations to their aquatic habits. Their wings are relatively short but strongly muscled, enabling them to be used as flippers underwater. They have dense plumage with a large preen gland for waterproofing their feathers. Their eyes have well-developed focus muscles that can change the curvature of the lens to enhance underwater vision. They have nasal flaps to prevent water entering their nostrils. Their blood has a high haemoglobin concentration, allowing a greater capacity to store oxygen than terrestrial birds, and allowing them to remain underwater for up to at least 30 seconds.

Dippers forage for small animal prey in and along the margins of fast-flowing freshwater streams and rivers. They perch on rocks and feed at the edge of the water, but they often also grip the rocks firmly and walk down them beneath the water until partly or wholly submerged. They then search underwater for prey between and beneath stones and debris; they can also swim with their wings. The two South American species swim and dive less often than the three northern ones. Their prey consists primarily of invertebrates such as the nymphs or larvae of mayflies, blackflies, stoneflies and caddisflies, as well as small fish and fish eggs. Molluscs and crustaceans are also consumed, especially in winter when insect larvae are less available.

Linear breeding territories are established by pairs of dippers along suitable rivers, and maintained against incursion by other dippers. Within their territory the pair must have a good nest site and roost sites, but the main factor affecting the length of the territory is the availability of sufficient food to feed themselves and their broods. Consequently the length of a territory may vary from about 300 m to over 2500 m.
Dipper nests are usually large, round, domed structures made of moss, with an internal cup of grass and rootlets, and a side entrance hole. They are often built in confined spaces over, or close to, running water. The site may be on a ledge or bank, in a crevice or drainpipe, or beneath a bridge. Tree sites are rare.
The usual clutch-size of the three northern dipper species is 4-5; those of the southern species is not well known, though some evidence suggests that that of the Rufous-throated Dipper is 2. The incubation period of 16-17 days is followed by the hatching of altricial young which are brooded by the female alone for the next 12-13 days. The nestlings are fed by both parents and the whole fledging period is about 20-24 days. Young dippers usually become independent of their parents within a couple of weeks of leaving the nest. Dippers may raise second broods if conditions allow.

jaycee, Dis. Ac., Janice, siggi, maurydv, uleko, nglen, jusninasirun, CeltickRanger has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Excelente luz y colores Pekka, además tiene más mérito al poder verse su entorno. Un enfoque muy preciso que consigue un presioso resultado.
Saludos: J. Ignasi

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-08-03 16:15]

Hi Pekka,

I have not seen a Dipper before! What a lovely little bird - doesn't look like a water bird at all. I love his colors and those feet. In spite of the bad weather and lighting conditions the details are excellent and the atmosphere shows through. A wonderful setting and composition.


hi Pekka,

great shot of this dipper that i have never been seen in th wild.
Alone the white colour looks a little overexposed further good of details.


Hi Pekka

I like this shot which shows the Dipper in his natural watery environment. The POV is great. Good sharpness and excellent composition. The only nit is that the white thoat is a bit OE.


  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2008-08-04 9:52]

Hello Pekka,
Happy birthday!
What a beautiful and lovely bird! Sharpness, POV, colors and composition are perfect. Well done.
Best regards

Ciao Pekka,
splendida cattura, eccellente la composizione per l'ambientazione e la bellissima posa con l'acqua che scorre, ottima nitidezza, belli i colori nonostante la poca luce a disposizione.
TFS. Maurizio

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-08-05 4:36]

Hej Pekka,
The wet look here is just perfect for this lovely little bird! An excellent composition showing great focus on the bird and fine details and colours. Well done!
TFS and cheers, Ulla

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-08-05 13:15]

Hi Pekka. I must just say you always write intersting notes so thanks. You have done well with poor light you had. this little Dipper has turned out well. good detail and natural colours. I like the light on the rocks. well done TFS.

Hello Pekka. This is one beautifully framed bird with pleasing inclusion of the habitat. Beautiful view in pristine sharpness and detail. Thanks for sharing and best regards. Jusni

hello Pekka

excellent shot with very fine POV at the level of the bird,
fine DOF and i love the way you framed it in the image,
lovely pose of the Dipper and i love the environement where he is,



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