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White-throated Dipper

(Cinclus cinclus)
Alternate name(s): "European Dipper", "Dipper"
German name(s): "Wasseramsel", "Eurasische Wasseramsel"

Size: ca. 18 cm; wing span 25.5-30 cm
Weight: 45-75 g
Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See White-throated Dipper at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range


Click here for sighting information


Race "cinclus"


Sex unknown

Distant lateral view of an adult White-throated Dipper on a rock in a creek; note the all grey-and-white front
(photo courtesy of G. Normand)
[Foix, Occitanie, France, June 2021]

Race "aquaticus"

This race is also called the "South European Dipper".


Sex unknown

Distant, near-lateral view of an adult White-throated Dipper in its favourite habitat, near a fast-flowing creek; note the red-brown band on the front
[Prümzurlay, Eifel, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany, August 2014]

Distant, near-lateral view of a White-throated Dipper in its favourite habitat, near a fast-flowing creek
[Prümzurlay, Eifel, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany, August 2014]


White-throated Dippers are the only species of passerine birds known to us that specialize in hunting on, in and even under water.

This unusual specialization leads to another peculiarity of the species. While moulting, White-throated Dippers, although capable of flight, will be secretive and will stay near the richest hunting grounds in their territories.

Food, Diet

White-throated Dippers feed on both terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates, crustaceans, larvae, molluscs and other small animals. Aquatic species are usually caught in fresh water, but White-throated Dippers have also been seen in coastal areas.

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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