Cinclus cinclus


A medium-sized, plump bird, the dipper is often seen sitting on a stone in a river or stream, bobbing up and down. It can be found around fast-flowing streams and rivers, mostly in upland areas but also in the south-west of England. It feeds on underwater invertebrates, such a stonefly and caddis fly larvae, by walking straight into and completely under the water to find them.

How to identify

Unmistakeable: the dipper is a short-tailed, chocolate-brown bird with a white throat and chest.

Where to find it

Widespread on fast-flowing rivers and streams in the uplands.


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

To ensure that we keep populations of birds like the dipper healthy, The Wildlife Trusts are working towards a 'Living Landscape': a network of habitats and wildlife corridors across town and country which are good for both wildlife and people. You can support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.

Species information

Common name
Latin name
Cinclus cinclus
Thrushes, chats, flycatchers, starling, dipper and wren
Length: 18cm Wingspan: 28cm Weight: 64g Average Lifespan: 3 years
Conservation status