A unique group of closely related song-birds that live in fast flowing streams and feed under water. They have very strong feet to help them keep under and they also use their wings.
The British ones have chestnut on the underparts and the extensive white on their throat, chest and stomach that most of these dark sooty birds possess. Birds from Scandinavia lack the chestnut - and are known as Black-bellied - just a few of them winter in Eastern England.
There are five species and they are found in Europe, Asia, North and South America (and just a few in North Africa). The bulky and domed nest is often placed over water.
No really close relatives although they are placed near the wrens.
The following Bird On! picture is available:
Dipper (35mm Colour Slide by Roger Tidman)
Length 180 mm Closed wing 92 mm Weight 60 gms
A Bird On! Sketch by Chris Mead
Copyright © 1996 by Jacobi Jayne & Company and Chris Mead