water ouzels

To continue with interesting things seen while traveling in the west, ouzels may top the list. Also known as Water Thrush or American Dipper birds (Cinclus mexicanus), these small birds are found in the torrents of clear, fast-moving streams. I’d seen them in rivers on my last visit to the PNW, so was watching for them once again. I wasn’t disappointed as several were found in the rapids of small rivers. Usually, I heard them before seeing them — their clear, musical voices leading my eye to the place where the bird dipped and dived into the silvery rush of water. This is a brief MP4 clip of an ouzel that I photographed at one such place (approx. 25 seconds – 1.8 MB).

From among his writings, John Muir’s description of the Water Ouzel in Chapter 13 of “The Mountains of California” (1894) is a favourite. If you want to know more about ouzels, that’s as good a place as any to begin.

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2 Responses to “water ouzels”

  1. robin andrea Says:

    That is so cool, Bev. Great video. Which river (creek?) is this? That sound of rushing water over the rocks comes through so beautifully, it’s delightful. That’s quite a place for a bird to gather food.

  2. burning silo Says:

    Robin – I love the ouzels and they are one of the things I most hoped to see when I returned to the PNW. I think that clip was shot along one of the forks of the Smith. We stopped at several access points along the way and heard or saw ouzels at a couple of them as well as along some other rivers and creeks of the region.