SE Colorado Birding

Birding and discussion: A conservation-oriented birding blog that emphasizes low-impact birding and sustainable birding practices together with the enjoyment of birds. Southeast Colorado offers a diversity of habitats which provide premiere birding opportunities. Save Sabal Palm

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Wild American Dipper

It seems like an oxymoron to use "wild" as an adjective describing American Dippers. Last evening at dusk, I was standing next to a building adjacent to the Arkansas River. I had heard and seen at least one American Dipper at this location this year and was hoping I might hear it's distinctive call tonight as they often call (and sometimes sing) at dusk. I got more than I bargained for.

An American Dipper came flying past me only a few feet away, calling as it flew around the building and past me. I heard it heading towards the river, then it shot around the building and flew so close to my arm that I could feel the small breeze it generated. It was so close I almost jumped as I thought it was going to collide with me.

The dipper flew past me and back around to the river, calling the whole time. Though it was getting dark, I can't believe that it couldn't see me. One possible explanation is that there might have been 2 dippers chasing each other as they often do. It has been my experience that birds chasing each other may not be as careful and come closer to humans than they usually would. Regardless of the reason, it was a most unusual experience.

I certainly didn't take this photo in the darkened conditions last night. I took it last spring in western Fremont County. I caught it just as it was landing on the rock.


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