American Dipper At Lassen Volcanic National Park For Bird Photography Weekly

by Larry Jordan on June 28, 2009

American Dipper At Mill Creek Falls all photos by Larry Jordan

I spent this weekend at Lassen Volcanic National Park with the Audubon Society.  I will be posting on this trip soon but I wanted to show you the photos of this American Dipper I captured at Mill Creek Falls.  This is the closest I have ever been to an American Dipper.

At the southern entrance to the park, they have just opened the new visitor center.  The trailhead to Mill Creek Falls is there.  After a couple of days of great birding, I wanted to see the new visitor center.  Since I had never been there, I stopped on my way out and decided to take the 1.8 mile hike to the falls.

The trail took me right to the top of the falls and as I was taking pictures of the waterfall, I noticed this little dipper, standing on the rocks at the main inlet.  The bird quickly flew back upstream away from me (no surprise there), but no matter, I had my 80-105mm lens on and couldn’t get a decent shot of it anyway.

I quickly changes lenses and waited.  To my surprise, along came the dipper with an insect in its beak!

American Dipper With Insect

It flew right past me to an unknown destination to feed its young.  I snapped this photo as it came back upstream.

If you don’t know about the American Dipper, they are an amazing bird.  They nest under bridges over fast flowing streams or behind waterfalls.  I waited a while longer to try to follow its path to its nest, assuming it was behind the waterfall, but no luck.  I had to get going.

Check out this interesting video from National Geographic on this exceptional little bird also known as the Water Ouzel.


Then go see the other great bird photos at Bird Photography Weekly!

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Mick June 29, 2009 at 12:46 am

Fascinating birds. Great to get such good photos.


gwendolen June 29, 2009 at 5:30 am

Wow Larry. What an unusaul bird. Thanks, I love learning stuff like this.
.-= gwendolen´s last blog ..Pied Avocet | BPW #44 =-.


bob k June 29, 2009 at 9:05 am

Congratulations, Larry, on getting pictures of the Dipper. I am still looking for mine to show up. 🙂
.-= bob k´s last blog ..Hearing Aid =-.


Kelly June 29, 2009 at 5:19 pm

These are amazing birds. I’ve never seen one…would love to some day, though!! Beautiful photos!
.-= Kelly´s last blog ..Little Blue Heron at Pinckney Island National Wildlife Preserve (near Hilton Head Island, SC) =-.


Dale June 30, 2009 at 7:38 am

the first dipper i ever saw (it happened to be an american dipper as well) literally dropped my draw. i had no idea what this silly little bird was that was acting like a tubby wagtail and then went SWIMMING in the stream.

I have recently seen both whitethroated dipper and brown dipper and they still thrill me every time.

thanks for the great photos and video
.-= Dale´s last blog ..Swarovski UCA – universal camera adapter for digiscoping =-.


Dawn Fine June 30, 2009 at 10:00 am

Great shots.. thanks for posting the video as well!

thinking of doing a Birders who Blog, Tweet and Chirp outing when we get to Northern Cal in Nov .Dec of this year..Would u be interested?
We are having one in July in Ct..and one in MN in Aug check here and see what they might be like.
.-= Dawn Fine´s last blog ..Birders who Blog, Tweet and Chirp outings =-.


Larry June 30, 2009 at 5:51 pm

@Mick thanks for the comment

@Gwen I love the unusual too. Fun Stuff!

@Bob, with your luck, it won’t take long 😉

@Kelly thank you very much. Come out west and I can guarantee you will see one

@Dale they are cool birds. I would love to see your species

@Dawn thanks for the comment. Count me in on the outing! Did you really need to ask? I’m there baby! I read of the recent outing in Massachusetts and was waiting for a get together out here. Wow, that was fast 😉


Thomas July 1, 2009 at 3:41 am

Beautiful images of the American Dipper, Larry. I liked the 3rd shot, with a sweet bokeh a lot.
.-= Thomas´s last blog ..Indian Wildlife Moments – Bengal Tigress with cubs =-.


Larry July 1, 2009 at 5:00 am

@Thomas thanks. That shot is my favorite too


Kyle July 2, 2009 at 2:17 pm

Great shots of a bird I’d never even heard of before now. I always seem to learn something new when I visit your blog, Larry. Nice job, as always!
.-= Kyle´s last blog ..Quintana Concluded =-.


Wren July 3, 2009 at 11:53 am

Lucky you – great bird and great photos.


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