Meet Dodo the American Dipper the eighth bird for my North American Series of the LEGO Bird Project on CUUSOO
I named this bird after one of my great CUUSOO fans usernames to thank him for his support, thanks dododoggy aka Chase!
The American Dipper (also known as North American Dipper and Water Ouzel) has the distinction of being North America's only aquatic songbird. Confined to rapidly flowing, pristine mountain streams.
Special adaptions (scaled nostrils that close underwater, a special third eyelid that helps keep the eyes clean underwater, proportionately long legs, and powerful claws) allow American Dipper to survey rapidly moving water from rocks before diving in to look for insect larvae, hunting underwater in currents strong enough to knock a person down. Swims to depths of as much as 20 feet and can walk and forage on river bottoms. Perfectly happy in water so cold it would likely freeze if it weren't moving. Sometimes wades with its head under water searching for food, and it may pick insects from rocks or occasionally flycatch, but mostly it finds prey below the surface. Sometimes bobs on the water like a duck momentarily, before disappearing again. Uses its powerful, stubby wings underwater to swim--suggesting a penguin (although this penguin can fly, and it doesn't waddle). Rarely flies over land. If not seen perched on rocks sticking out of the water or moving in and out of the water, usually observed flying rapidly and low over streams, following the course of the flow. Usually solitary, but may be seen in pairs or feeding young during breeding season, although breeding has been confirmed in Sonoma County in only one or two spots. Uses cliff faces next to water for nest sites, but may nest on rocks virtually in the water. Sometimes uses bridge structures for nesting. Also known to build nests behind waterfalls.
The plump silhouette, mostly grey color, and short tail may suggest European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris), especially in flight when the bird is mostly a grey blur, but no other bird really looks like a Dipper. Field guides tend to show American Dipper as fairly uniformly grey or grey-brown. The coloration is often more subtle than that. The head can tend toward a brownish grey. The body is a slaty grey but often has slight mottling, and the wings and lower belly are sometimes a slightly warmer tone than the back and upper breast. The legs are a steely pink-grey. The eye briefly appears white when the bird blinks (see photo below). Sibley's illustration seems closer to reality than those in the newer Peterson guide (4th edition; too uniformly brownish), the old Peterson guide (3rd edition; too uniformly dark grey) or the National Geographic guide (5th edition; ditto). Fix and Bezener show a charcoal bird with a black head. Two subspecies are recognized, which may account for some of the color variation in actual birds. Juveniles are paler overall, but especially underneath and at the throat, and young birds have paler bills than adults.
It produces a buzzy call note but also sings a surprisingly sweet, melodic song suggestive of a wren--although American Dipper is sometimes difficult to hear over the sound of the rushing streams it's found in.
Some sources say the name of the bird comes from the way it dips into the water to feed. Others point to the bird's habit of bobbing on rocks after it lands.
Take a look at these videos I think they are adoreable birds