Saturday, November 17, 2007

The American Dipper, also known as the Water-Ouzel, or Water Thrush (Cinclus Mexicanus, SW)

While in Yosemite beside the Merced River, naturalist Paul Harmon called my attention to a small bird in the water, and said it was John Muir's favorite bird. In Muir's THE MOUNTAINS OF CALIFORNIA (1894), Chapter 13 is dedicated to the Water-Ouzel. [].

Here is an illustration of that bird from that chapter:

Paul Harmon has let me know that the bird is known now more by the name of The American Dipper. Here are four strictly amateur photos I took of the bird from some distance and with the bird in constant motion, starting with the Dipper dipping:

Of course, a much better photo is available on Wikipedia:

1 comment:

The Blue Elephant said...

Paul Harmon had this comment: "Love the pictures of the bird. Just for your reference, the modern name for the bird is the American Dipper (Cinclus mexicanus). (Peterson adds Water Ouzel to the description, but Sibley doesn't.) He's a kind of thrush, but with a difference. What fascinated Muir was his diving into the water and swimming under the water for his dinner."