This week’s photo, taken September 19, 2013 near the Mount Baker Ski Area in the far north region of Washington state, features an AMERICAN DIPPER, a rather plain-looking bird with a truly remarkable story.
On Thursday, toward the end of a spectacularly scenic hike on the Chain Lakes Trail, I spot an AMERICAN DIPPER along a stream that feeds into Bagley Lakes. When the plump, short-tailed bird pauses briefly on a rock, I take a quick photo, then it disappears below the foot bridge that I had just walked across. The Dipper’s behavior is fascinating. It spends its life near fast-moving streams and rivers, where it swims below the water surface to forage for aquatic insects. It even walks underwater.
Hoping that the Dipper might reappear, I sit by the stream for several minutes, but I do not see it again. Perhaps while I am waiting for it, it is walking right by me – underwater!