Where the Wild Things Are — Dippers


American Dipper

The most aquatic of song birds, dippers or water ouzels are gray, robin-sized, with short, perky, wren-like tails. No skinny dippers, these are round, well-insulated feather balls, with stubby wings that allow them to fly under water. American dippers live only in the western mountains, from Alaska to Mexico.

Dippers dip. They bob up and down with quick knee-bends, apparently to allow a good view through the reflective surface of the water. Then they hike along the bottom of a tumbling mountain stream, hanging on with their toes, probing among the rocks for insects to eat.

Their nest is a hollow ball of moss on an inaccessible cliff above the water. Most summers there are two or three dipper nests along the Big Thompson on the Main Ranch. The lowest of them is just above water level at the north end of the bridge on the way to the early morning Breakfast Ride! This may be the lowest-elevation dipper nest in Colorado.

Come see us (and the dippers!). Invest some quality time communing with the dippers after that old-fashioned country breakfast!