Yellow Warbler

Migration and Demography of American Dippers

Research on Landbirds

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The American dipper can be found on fast flowing streams and shallow rivers across B.C, where it dives and swims underwater to catch small fish and aquatic insects. This amazing bird is North America’s only truly aquatic songbird and has often been used as an indicator of pristine freshwater habitat. We have studied dippers in the Chilliwack River Valley, BC since 1999.  American Dipper

The majority of dippers, in this and other populations, make seasonal movements between low elevation wintering grounds on large rivers and breeding grounds on higher elevation tributaries.  However some individuals do not undergo this seasonal migration and remain on permanent territories year round. We are currently investigating whether migratory/sedentary behaviour is associated with distinct morphological and physiological traits, and examining how variation in migratory behaviour influences natal philopatry, recruitment, survival and reproductive success of American dippers.


CWE Researchers on this project: Collaborators

David Green
Ivy Whitehorne
Liz Gillis
Holly Middleton

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Christy Morrissey
Elsie Krebs
John Elliott