[Note - This will be the first of a monthly series highlighting a bird I have seen, photographed, and find particularly interesting]
Dippers get their name from the continuous bobbing they do while on land, possibly a way to communicate over the deafening sound of waterfalls. They also communicate using a variety of chirps and whistles. Dippers nest along cliffs near water, where they construct mossy hollows for their eggs. The bird above, in Glacier National Park, had a nest just below the impressive Virginia Falls, where it and its mate would continuously bring their catch. I spent upwards of an hour observing these birds, and they came within just a few feet of me after one of their dives. If you are ever in the Rockies, Cascades, Sierras, or any other Western mountain range, I encourage you to look along streams for these slate-gray birds. You can learn a lot by just sitting on a rock and watching them, like I did. They are one of the most fascinating creatures I've come across - the perfect bird for my first Life Through The Lens.
The only dipper I saw in Canada was this bilingual fellow educating the visitors on the fragility of the canyon walls. Dippers nest on canyon walls, so I think his statement about "never going on them" is a bit of a stretch... but is still a good message.