Dipper Note 03.22.15

Peter and Linda report seeing both birds below the Main St. bridge this morning and a single bird beneath the Bridge 3 nest. Other bird was presumably incubating inside nest. Earlier in the week they had checked the Granite St. reservoir area and found no birds.

I was able to check on Main St. this afternoon and the female was in the nest. It would appear that she is sitting on eggs now. So both pairs are incubating. The Bridge 3 nest may have hatching anytime after March 30 and the Main St. pair may after April 5. fdl

Posted in Watch Notes

Dipper Note 03.18.15

I checked the dippers at Bridge 3 late this afternoon. I believe they are now incubating eggs. When I arrived I heard a rattle call and walked to the bridge and saw the smaller,darker bird  (presumed female) on a rock right below the bridge and the nest box. She flew upstream a short way and proceeded to feed. I walked down to creek level and found a spot to with a view of the box  an adult bird was present. After a few moments it flushed to just below the nest, it was the lighter, bigger bird of the pair (presumed male) … it then proceeded to preen then feed  briefly before flying back up to the nest. The female bird continued to feed just upstream. My impression was that I arrived just as the male was giving the female a break from sitting. I think we might expect birds to hatch in the next 10-12 days as I believe egg-laying ended last Friday.  fdl

AMDI_Bridge 3 1_01AMDI_Bridge 3_01

Posted in Sightings, Watch Notes

Dipper Notes 03.08.15

American Dipper 1_01…checked on the dipper’s nest building progress today at Bridge 3 and Main St. Bridge.

At Bridge 3 I saw both dippers below the bridge. The female who is the notably darker and smaller bird was sitting on a rock below the nest.The male was foraging in the creek. The nest appears complete and I suspect egg laying may have begun from the way the female was staying close to the box.

At Main St. I saw both birds and they appearred to be putting the finishing touches on the nest. I saw the female bring some pine needles into the nest and the male also came to the box carrying some other material.


female Bridge 3

female Bridge 3

male foraging Bridge 3

male foraging Bridge 3

female at Main St. Bridge same pose as last week

female at Main St. Bridge
same pose as last week

Posted in Sightings, Watch Notes

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