The White-throated Dipper (Cinclus cinclus) is a starling-sized bird occurring in much of Europe, northern Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia (up to China), and northern India. Generally, the birds are found along fast running rivers and streams. They swim, dive, and walk underwater in search for prey including aquatic insects, molluscs, crustaceans, and worms. They fly fast and straight while following the river course and stay relatively close to the water’s surface. I have seen these fascinating birds on a number of walks in Germany. The photographs in this post are from a trip to Berchtesgaden in southern Germany in December 2014. Snow was falling and nonetheless the small dipper was diving in the ice-cold water of the mountain stream – I felt much better in my winter jacket.
Yikes that looks cold! It was the Dipper (along with Bill Oddie!) that inspired my love of birds. Just seeing your pictures brings back childhood memories of watching a Dipper with my dad – thank you.
oh – I have to thank you for your comment! I am happy that the post gives you such positive feelings!!! 🙂
How fascinating – wonder how they warm back up after dipping into that very cold water! Thanks for sharing.
I have read that the birds cover their feathers with a lot of oil from their preen glands to protect them against the water and cold – furthermore there are many small air bubbles caught in the feathers before diving which protect against the water. These air bubbles slowly disappear during the dive and are thereby also limiting the diving time of the bird…