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Summer Magic: Watching the Dippers grow

July 28, 2013

This summer has been amazing. Among other adventures, I have been able to watch two American Dippers grow and leave the nest. I watched their parents dive, swim and walk in the cold glacier water looking for insects to feed their voracious young. I perched on rocks in the midst of the glacier-fed stream experiencing the joy of frigid water in hot, hot July weather. The light was beautiful under the bridge where the Dippers nested. The light reflected from the roaring water onto the nest and rocks beneath. The roar of the creek became a soothing mantra broken only by the melodic call of the adults and the insistent begging of the young. It was, at times, truly magical.

The adults took my presence in stride – even perching near me for minutes at a time resting between feeding bouts. The two youngsters peeked out at me but eventually ignored me – after all I brought no insects to the nest. I wonder what they thought of me!

The last of the two young fledged two days ago. I saw the two young being fed by both parents further down the creek yesterday. They are doing well, and hopefully will make it through the winter to start their own nest next spring.

I have beautiful memories of watching the Dippers this summer. I have shared some of those Dipper photos here.

at the nest - younger chicks

At the nest – younger chicks

feeding older chicks

At the nest feeding older chicks

arriving with food

Arriving with food

looking under water

Looking under water for insects


watching for the parents

Two young Dippers watching for the parents

The last in the nest calling for food

The last in the nest calling for food

a dipper in it's element

A Dipper at home in it’s element

the last one - ready to go

The last one to go

looking for food

An American Dipper in Kokanee Creek – perched in glacier fed water.

A fledgling 4 days after leaving the nest.

A fledgling 4 days after leaving the nest.

Fledgling being fed

Fledgling being fed


Fledgling finding its own food.

Fledgling finding its own food.

all writing and photos copyright Joanne Siderius 2013

  1. Great photos! I always love your photos of the young crying out for food.

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