Formed By Him – Dippers

White-throated Dipper (Cinclus cinclus) by Ian

White-throated Dipper (Cinclus cinclus) by Ian

Dippers are small, stout, short-tailed, short-winged, strong-legged birds. The different species are generally dark brown (sometimes nearly black), or brown and white in colour, apart from the Rufous-throated Dipper which is brown with a reddish-brown throat patch. Sizes range from 14–22 cm in length and 40-90 g in weight, with males larger than females. Their short wings give them a distinctive whirring flight. They have a characteristic bobbing motion when perched beside the water, giving them their name.

White-capped Dipper (Cinclus leucocephalus leuconotus) ©

White-capped Dipper (Cinclus leucocephalus leuconotus) ©

Dippers are found in suitable freshwater habitats in the highlands of the Americas, Europe and Asia. In Africa they are only found in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. They inhabit the banks of fast-moving upland rivers with cold, clear waters, though, outside the breeding season, they may visit lake shores and sea coasts.

The Lord created them unlike many water birds, dippers are generally similar in form to many terrestrial birds (for example they do not have webbed feet), but they were designed with some morphological and physiological adaptations to their aquatic habits. Their wings are relatively short but strongly muscled, enabling them to be used as flippers underwater. They have dense plumage with a large preen gland for waterproofing their feathers. Relatively long legs and sharp claws enable them to hold onto rocks in swift water. Their eyes have well-developed focus muscles that can change the curvature of the lens to enhance underwater vision. They have nasal flaps to prevent water entering their nostrils. Their blood has a high haemoglobin concentration, allowing a greater capacity to store oxygen than terrestrial birds, and allowing them to remain underwater for up to at least 30 seconds.

Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created. (Psalms 148:5 KJV)

American Dipper (Cinclus mexicanus) by Ian

American Dipper (Cinclus mexicanus) by Ian

Dippers forage for small animal prey in and along the margins of fast-flowing freshwater streams and rivers. They perch on rocks and feed at the edge of the water, but they often also grip the rocks firmly and walk down them beneath the water until partly or wholly submerged. They then search underwater for prey between and beneath stones and debris; they can also swim with their wings. The two South American species swim and dive less often than the three northern ones. Their prey consists primarily of invertebrates such as the nymphs or larvae of mayflies, blackflies, stoneflies and caddisflies, as well as small fish and fish eggs. Molluscs and crustaceans are also consumed, especially in winter when insect larvae are less available.

White-throated Dipper

Recording Sound of White-throated Dipper by BBC

Video by National Geographic


There are five members of the Dipper – Cinclidae Family in the Passeriformes Order. They all are of the Cinclus genus. The Dippers are:

White-throated Dipper (Cinclus cinclus) – Widespread, also nw Africa
Brown Dipper (Cinclus pallasii) – Europe
American Dipper (Cinclus mexicanus) – w Canada to Panama
White-capped Dipper (Cinclus leucocephalus) – Colombia to Bolivia
Rufous-throated Dipper (Cinclus schulzii) – nw Argentina, se Bolivia

What an amazing Creator we have!

Brown Dipper (Cinclus pallasii) ©WikiC

Brown Dipper (Cinclus pallasii) ©WikiC

Several things have been dipped in blood in Scripture:

And they took Joseph’s coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood; (Genesis 37:31 KJV)

Hyssop was dipped in blood in Exodus 12:22 and put on doorposts; Lev. 4:6,16 and  9:9, 14:16 dipped finger in blood and sprinkled it while at the altar; dipped a bird in blood in Lev. 14:6 (See Birds of the Bible – Purifying Bird); then when Christ is seen in heaven, His vesture is dipped in blood.

And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. (Revelation 19:13 KJV)

The one time someone dipped himself in a river, was when Naaman, who had leprosy, finally believed enough to go dip seven times in the Jordan and was healed.

Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. (2 Kings 5:14 KJV)

Gospel Message

See Also:

Formed By Him

The American Dipper – The Intercessor by a j mithra

Birds of the World

(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources)


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