European dipper jumping on to a rock

Dipper

Dippers have evolved a superb ability to hunt underwater. Holding their wings outstretched, they stabilize their weight and walk along the bottom of fast running rivers or streams. Dippers feed on a wide range of aquatic invertebrates and fish and are found throughout most of Europe and the Middle East.

Dippers are named for the bobbing and dipping movements they make whilst perched. They have a distinctive white throat and breast against their dark brown-black plumage. A flash of their specialised white eyelids, used to protect the eyes when submerged, provides further identification if needed.

Did you know?
Dippers can remain under water for up to 30 seconds.

Scientific name: Cinclus cinclus

Rank: Species

Common names:

  • European dipper,
  • White-throated dipper

Watch video clips from past programmes (6 clips)

In order to see this content you need to have an up-to-date version of Flash installed and Javascript turned on.

View all 6 video clips

Distribution

Map showing the distribution of the Dipper taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Dipper can be found in a number of locations including: Africa, Asia, China, Europe, Mediterranean, Russia, United Kingdom, Wales, Ynys-hir nature reserve. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.

Habitats

The following habitats are found across the Dipper distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Year assessed: 2009

Classified by: IUCN 3.1

Classification

  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Birds
  5. Perching birds
  6. Cinclidae
  7. Cinclus
  8. Dipper

Video collections

Take a trip through the natural world with our themed collections of video clips from the natural history archive.

  • Life in slow motion Life in slow motion

    Slow motion filming techniques transform amazing wildlife moments into full scale events, and simple action into incredibly detailed video sequences.