Dipper Note 03.02.15

 this happened yesterday (March 2) between 4:40 and 4:45 pm, at bridge 3.
Mary Janet writes:
“When I arrived the male was sitting calmly on one of the mid-stream rocks under the bridge, preening. Soon the female  came bursting out from the nest box and flew downstream, vigorously foraging and eating for a few minutes. Then she returned to the box carrying a big mouthful of moss. She landed on the rock in front of the male and they called loudly to each other and bounced up and down facing each other. Then she disappeared into the box. In maybe 30 seconds she came out again, flew downstream a bit,  and gathered up a mouthful of tiny twigs or pine needles, and flew back to the box, repeating the interaction with the male on the way. Then, again she flew out and began poking around among some old alder catkins on top of a midstream rock, and gathering some up. As I was leaving she was heading for the box again. Pretty cool!”
Posted in Sightings, Watch Notes

Dipper Notes 03.01.15

Met at Bluebird Park this morning and watched two dippers working on nest. They were using the nest box that is attached to a pipe under the bridge instead of the drainpipe hole they had used in the past. We saw the banded male from 2014 with a new partner. Nest appeared to be 1/2 to 2/3 complete. We saw the female gathering  mostly moss but a few time she gathered some twigs and needles. The male was seen gathering moss.

American Dipper 3_01

We proceeded up to the Granite St. reservoir and saw no birds until we were half way between Bridge 1 and 2. Bird gave a double-noted rattle flight call and flew up stream. We gave chase but did not see the bird again. Then as we approached Bridge 2 we heard another rattle call but did not see the bird or where it came from. So either it was the first bird or a second.

At Bridge 3 we encountered the male preening and singing on a rock just up from the bridge. As we were watching the male I glanced up and saw the female exit the nest box under the bridge and head down stream. The male followed. We did not encounter the pair again on our way down.

The nest at Bridge 3 appeared nearly complete. We would expect egg laying to start  6-15 days from nest completion.

American Dipper 2_01American Dipper_01

Near Bridge 8 which is the bridge below Pioneer St. we found the banded male from Main St. on a rock singing and preening. We speculated that he was up near the edge of his territory based on the fact that last season he brought his young up all the way up into this area from the Main St. nest. There is good cover here and protection for the fledglings. In the last few years since the nest box was installed at Bridge 3  it seems that the Bridge3 birds edge down to just below the Pioneer St. bridge where they meet the territory of the Main St. birds.  We will see if this pattern continues to hold this season. We walked back to Bluebird Park occasionally encountering the male as he made his way back down (who’s monitoring whom). We also saw the female working on the nest.

In summary we saw at least 5 different dippers and found two pairs nest building. Both pairs were using nest boxes.

Bridge 3 male

Bridge 3 male

Posted in Sightings, Watch Notes


Originally posted on Towheeblog:

Our Ashland Park & Rec birding field trip happened to arrive at the Lithia Park Dipper nest site at exactly the right time this morning.  Both of the mated Dippers were present, and hunting.  Not for food but for nesting material.  We watched one check out a leaf, dampen it and then lose it into the current.  Not sure if that was a reject or an accident.  We also witnessed plenty of stick carrying to the nest beneath the bridge.DPR WHIRL (1280x960)DPR-CARRY (1280x960)DPR-CARRY2 (1280x960)dpr-cvarry3 (1280x960)DPR-FOOD1 (1280x960)DPR-NST1 (1280x960)DPR-NST2 (1280x960)DPR-NST3 (1280x960)DPR-NST4 (1280x960)DPR-NST5 (1280x960)DPR-NST6 (1280x960)DPR-NST7 (1280x960)DPR-NST8DPR-NST9 (1280x960)DPR-NST10 (1280x960)Below the nictitating membrane flashes white in front of the Dipper’s eye. nictitatingFollowing the Dipper along crashing, foaming Ashland Creek I can only admire perseverance in the face of peril, temerity trumping timidity, adaptation out-stripping adversity, survival in contradiction to human understanding.dpr1 (1280x960)dpr2 (1280x960)DPR4 (1280x960)DPR5 (1280x960)DPR6 (1280x960)DPR7 (1280x960)DPR8 (1280x960)DPR9 (1280x960)


Our Moutnain Bird Festival here in Ashland has walks designed to get birders a look at Dippers.  You can click here for information on signing…

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Dipper Note 02.23.15

Mary Janet submitted 2 data forms for observations of 2 dippers: two birds at Bridge 3 calling to each other and foraging, and another bird at Bridge 6 foraging.

Thank you to Mary Janet for trying out the new observation data form!

Posted in Sightings, Watch Notes

Dipper Note 02.25.14

Kathy writes:

I was just at Lithia Park taking a walk along the creek around 10:30 am.  Stopped at BlueBird Park and saw nothing.  Walked to Bridge #3 and saw one dipper on a rock below the bridge.  It soon flew upstream.  I then walked back to Bluebird Park, now 11:00 and saw a dipper fly into the nest box.  It stayed in there for over 5 minutes.  I got a very shadowing photo.  It then hopped around a bit under the bridge and I saw that it was banded.  It’s right leg looked like Red/Silver and left leg White/White.  After awhile it flew upstream.

*This band combination identifies the male from the Main St. nest in 2014.*

Kathy photo show the bird on a nest box that was placed under the bridge in 2013 with the hopes it would provide an upscale accommodation compared to the small drainpipe that has been used. It will be interesting to see which nest site is utilized.image



Posted in Sightings, Watch Notes