Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Magical Mystery Diving Bird (solved: American Dipper)

This little dear was splashing around in one of our ponds today. I grabbed the binoculars to get a better look.  At first I thought it was a duck, no, too small. Then I thought it was a wren bathing  but it seemed too big.  Then It dove under water.  Wha? 

I quickly got my camera and a sweater and scooted out in my slippers to see if I could snap a few.  The body colouring was plain, grey-brown body dappled with some light streaks and the head and breast were a warmer brown.  It had a pale cream-yellow beak and flesh coloured legs.  It bobbed almost constantly and liked to keep it's tail perked up like a wren. It was about the size of a towhee without the tail.

I was watching it stick it's head under water and swim for short but energetic moments and then it did the most curious thing: It dove under water, flapped it's wings and flew under water for about four feet before hopping back up on a floating branch.  A swimming, diving, flying under water wren?  It later flew into the creek and hunted about for food there as well.

I couldn't get close enough to get any good shots and the telephoto setting pretty sad on my camera


Alison said...

I saw one once in Killarney Creek, bobbing its little head up and down very fast as it stood on a submerged rock in a deep pool of slowly moving water. I watched him for a while but when he caught sight of me, he walked away under water. Walked away on the bottom, Marcus.

Marcus said...

That is so cool. It's the Jesus-bird. Actually better than that, he only walked on the water, so really, Jesus is the Dipper-human. Except Jesus' diet probably did not consist of water dwelling insect larvae.

North American Dipper (an endangered species dontcha know) due to the more predatory expansion of the artificially introduced neoconservasaurus which was developed in a media lab from the fossilized remains of aynrandypus-crapicus and Hitler's left testicle.

It's all true. You couldn't make this shit up...