IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)


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Brown dipper

The brown dipper (Cinclus pallasii), alternatively known by the common names Pallas's dipper, Asian dipper or the Asiatic dipper, is an aquatic songbird found in the mountains of southern and central Asia. At 22 cm (8.7 in) and 87 grams (3.1 oz), it is the largest of the dippers. This species, which is not often seen, is found at medium to low elevations where mountain streams flow.

C. pallasii tenuirostris from Lingtam hamlet of Sikkim, India.
C. pallasii tenuirostris from Padampuri, Uttarakhand, India.

Diet and feeding biology[edit]

Mughal era painting of a brown dipper (c. 1620, by Ustad Mansur) from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The brown dipper can either feed by diving into streams to eat larger benthic organisms, or wade in shallower parts of streams and pick smaller organisms of the bottom. The adults will dive for food from December through April, which is when there are more large benthic organisms. Since this period is also the breeding season of the brown dipper, more food is required, so diving for large food is necessary. However, the adults will forage by wading and picking at the stream bottom for the rest of the year. Brown dipper chicks and fledglings will also forage by diving.[3] One small population wintering at a hot spring in Suntar-Khayata Mountains of Siberia feeds underwater when air temperatures drop below -55 C [4]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Cinclus pallasii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ "Cinclus". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. 
  3. ^ K. Eguchi (1990). "The choice of foraging methods of the brown dipper, Cinclus pallasii (Aves: Cinclidae)". Journal of Ethology 8 (2): 121–127. doi:10.1007/BF02350282. 
  4. ^ Dinets, V. (2001) Brown Dipper Cinclus pallasi wintering in Suntar-Hayata Mountains of Yakutia. Ornitologia 29: 326 (in Russian with English summary).


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