dipper

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dipper, common name for the only aquatic member of the order Perciformes (perching birds) found near cold mountain streams. With their short, stubby wings and tails and their thick brownish plumage, dippers are thought to be closely related to the wrens. There are four species: the brownish gray North American dipper, Cinclus mexicanus, called also water ouzel, found from Alaska to Panama; the white-headed dipper of the Andes; the European common dipper, with a white throat and breast, found from Scandinavia to Africa; and the Asian dipper of Siberia and China. Dippers have filmy feathers, large preen glands that provide waterproofing oil, and flaps over the nostrils and a third eyelid to keep out water. They swim well underwater, using their wings for propulsion, and eat water insects and larvae, newts, and minnows. Their wrenlike domed nests are built in rock crevices. Dippers are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Perciformes, family Cinclidae.

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dip·per / ˈdipər/ • n. 1. a short-tailed songbird (genus Cinclus, family Cinclidae), frequenting fast-flowing streams and able to swim, dive, and walk under water to feed. 2. a ladle or scoop. 3. a person who immerses something in liquid.

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dipper Bird found near fast-flowing mountain streams, where it dives for small fish and aquatic invertebrates. It has a thin, straight bill, short wings, and greyish-brown plumage. Length: to 19cm (7.5in). Family Cinclidae; genus Cinclus.

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