Inhabits fast-moving, clear, unpolluted streams with cascades, riffles, and waterfalls and occasionally ponds, lakeshores, saltwater beaches, especially in winter when streams are frozen. Nests on rock walls or banks bordering streams (Kingery 1996, Armstrong 2008). Breeding streams rarely exceed 15m in width and 2m in depth (Kingery 1996). Dippers were also found foraging on deltas (Willson and Hocker 2008). Prefers streams with rocky, sandy, or gravelly bottom with little to no aquatic vegetation and instream or streamside boulders for perching.
Auxiliary habitat: Require cliffs, large rocks, fallen trees, and driftwood for escape, roosting, or nesting (Kingery 1996). Streams with salmonoids appear to be important winter and breeding habitat in BC (Campbell et al. 1997, Obermeyer 2006). Found in mountains to treeline.
Armstrong, R. H. 2008. Guide to the birds of Alaska. 5th edition. Alaska Northwest Books, Anchorage, AK. 360 pp.
Kingery, H. E. 1996. American Dipper (Cinclus mexicanus). In The Birds of North America, Vol.333, No. 229 (A. Poole and F. Gill, Eds.). Philadelphia: The Academy of Natural Sciences; Washington, D.C.: The American Ornithologists’ Union.
Wilson, M. F. and K. M. Hocker. 2008. American Dippers wintering near Juneau, Alaska. Northwestern Naturalist 89: 24-32.