Unique and fascinating American Dipper

Unique and fascinating American Dipper


7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Event Type


The American Dipper is the only North American songbird which dives underwater for its food and it uses its wings as flippers. It is usually found in fast-flowing rivers and streams, but sometimes inhabits ponds and lakes. It has a very long latitudinal range in western North America, from Alaska to Panama and only migrates altitudinally, within its home watershed.

Dr John Elliott is a research scientist with Environment & Climate Change Canada (ECCC) and his research focuses mainly on ecotoxicology. He initiated the studies on American Dippers as a water quality bioindicator in the Chilliwack River, after noting that in the UK, European Dipper eggs were being sampled to measure contaminants. This followed with his PhD student Christy Morrissey identifying that the Chilliwack River system has the highest density of American Dippers in the Pacific Northwest. Dr. Elliott will present the natural history of this unique passerine and the science that has been done on the dippers of the Chilliwack River for the past 20+ years and more recently on run of the river dam systems in Whistler.

On the Monday preceding the event, Nature Vancouver members will receive the Zoom link in the weekly e-News. This talk will begin at 7:30pm. Non-members are welcome and should Email denis@NatureVancouver.ca well in advance to register for the link.

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