uniform dark gray with slightly browner head (Colorado; 2009-02-14)

American Dipper
Cinclus mexicanus

Native Range: North America and Middle America

Notes: a distinctive stream-dwelling bird with the peculiar habit of walking underwater in search of the benthic aquatic invertebrates that form much of its diet; seems completely unfazed by cold torrential water, actively feeding even in midwinter; typically nests on ledges behind waterfalls; has a tough nictitating membrane ("third eyelid") that is bright white in color (visible only when the bird blinks) and apparently protects the pupil of the eye when the dipper is fighting strong currents; no sexual dimorphism.

peeking underwater before submerging or 'dipping' (Colorado; 2009-02-14)

standing in an icy-cold torrent (Colorado; 2009-02-14)

seemingly oblivious to ice and cold (Colorado; 2009-02-14)

short stubby tail, often cocked; strong feet (Colorado; 2009-02-14)