Songbird Flies Underwater

  • This video shows an American Dipper searching for aquatic insects and fish underwater.
  • Notice in the fairly shallow water how it uses both its legs and wings to propel itself.
  • In the deeper water it uses its wings and basically "flies" underwater.
  • In one of sequences it chases a juvenile coho salmon which it doesn't catch.
  • However I have seen them capture the coho young as the last photo shows.
  • The leg bands on the dipper are part of a study by Mary Willson and Katherine Hocker.
  • They spent many years learning about them and published a book about them. The book American Dipper--Singers in the Mountain Streams can be ordered at

Songbird Flies Underwater from Bob Armstrong on Vimeo.

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