Bird Families

Family Cinclidae


The top and sides of the head and neck are brownish, the back, tail and uppertail are brownish-gray, the throat, craw and chest are white, the belly of European birds is brown, and of Asian birds it is white. In juveniles, the underparts of the body are off-white with a transverse gray pattern.


Lives along the coasts of fast small rivers with clear water and rocky bottom in the mountains, less often on the plains. A common resident bird. It keeps alone and in pairs on stones among the water and on the shore. Builds a nest by the water. Clutch of 4-6 white eggs in May - June. Shout - a sharp "dzit-dzpt". The song is a set of sonorous trills. It differs from the brown dipper in its white throat and chest.


The deer (Latin Cinclus cinclus) is a small bird from the order Passeriformes. She is the only member of the Olyapkov family (Cinclidae) living on the European continent.

The deer is well adapted to swimming. Under water, her nostrils are covered with a leathery membrane, and her eyes see, as well as on the surface.

The bird uses short rounded wings in the aquatic environment instead of oars.

The internal bones of the dipper are heavy, they are filled with bone marrow, thanks to which it can dive. An adult bird is able to stay under water for up to 10 seconds. Her coccygeal gland is 10 times larger in comparison with other representatives of her order, therefore, the secret secreted by the gland provides reliable protection to the plumage during prolonged stay in water.

The deer lives in Europe, North-West Africa, Central Asia and in the western regions of the United States and Canada. A prerequisite for her comfortable existence is the presence of very clean water nearby, so she loves streams and small rivers in the mountains.

Unfortunately, there are fewer such places every year, so the population is rapidly decreasing almost everywhere. Wastewater pollution of rivers leads to depletion of aquatic invertebrate fauna, which forms the basis of the dippers' diet.

For this reason, they try to find food in the vicinity of mountain resorts, where increased attention is paid to ecology.


The deer is a territorial bird. Under her supervision is usually a section of the channel of a stream or a small rivulet up to 1-1.5 km long. A married couple selflessly defends their rights to their land plot from their relatives.

In autumn and winter, spouses prefer to live apart on non-freezing rivers. A characteristic feature of these birds is their love of singing on sunny frosty days. With the help of singing, they maintain marital relations and more easily endure forced loneliness.

Dipper spends most of the time in the water, wandering along the coast, swimming or diving in search of prey. She flies low above the ground, often flapping her wings. After landing, he makes elegant curtsies. Its menu includes small fish, crustaceans, eggs and amphibians. Occasionally, she can hunt from the shore, looking for prey at the very edge of the reservoir, but mostly looking for food under water, sometimes turning over stones in search of the desired prey.

Sharp claws help the bird to move nimbly along slippery pitfalls. Moving along the shallows, she plunges her head into the water and catches prey. With special dexterity, she can dive using the force of the current.

Having plunged under the water against the current, the bird leans forward and, spreading its wings, runs along the bottom. Having finished her run, she, like a bottle cork, emerges to the surface.

The bird swims well and knows how to catch insects on the fly. She devotes a lot of time to hygiene, carefully arranging her plumage.


Nest construction begins in early spring. The spouses choose a place near the reservoir. Very often this is a niche in the rock behind the waterfall. In its absence, depressions in the roots of trees growing near the coast or crevices in a pile of stones are quite suitable.

The nest is built in the form of an oval with a side hole directed towards the nearest stream. Sometimes dippers occupy empty birdhouses.

In late March or early April, the female lays about 6 white eggs. Depending on the availability of food and weather conditions, she incubates clutches from 16 to 21 days. Both spouses are actively involved in feeding the chicks.

After 18-25 days, the babies leave the nest. They don't fly yet, but they swim great. In case of danger, the chicks rush into the water with a stone and quickly swim away from the source of the threat, and then carefully go out on a secluded area of ​​the shore and try to hide in the nearby bushes.

During the nesting season, the pair usually manages to raise two broods. With the onset of cold weather, young animals scatter around the area in search of a place for their future wintering.


The body length reaches 20 cm, and the weight is 50-80 grams. The beak is straight, elongated and without a hook at the end. The plumage is very dense.

The upper part of the body is covered with ash gray feathers with black edges along the edges. The head is dark brown. The neck, upper abdomen and breast are white, while the rest of the abdomen is dark.

The short tail rises upward, the wings are short and rounded.

The long legs end with 4 toes. One finger is pointing backward and three are pointing forward.

The dipper has a lifespan of 8 years. She is the national symbol of Norway.


In recent years, dippers have firmly established themselves in the vicinity of some mountain resorts, where tourists enjoy watching their spearfishing.
Habitat. Lives in Europe, Asia and North Africa.

The common dipper lives in the highlands of Europe, Central Asia, and the Atlas Mountains in North Africa, where it usually settles along the banks of fast mountain streams. A prerequisite for the successful existence of this bird is the crystal purity of the water, which is increasingly difficult to find due to the active economic activity of humans. Construction and concreting of the banks of mountain rivers, and even more so the deterioration of water quality, does not at all contribute to the growth of the dipper population. The pollution of rivers with industrial flows inevitably leads to the depletion of aquatic invertebrate fauna, depriving the dippers of their main food reserves. Outside the nesting season, dippers sometimes appear in the valleys, and in some areas they are so accustomed to being close to humans that they safely settle in crowded mountain resorts.

Species: European Dipper - Cinclus cinclus.
Family: Olyapkovye.
Order: Passerines.
Class: Birds.
Subtype: Vertebrates.

Did you know?

  • The deer is perfectly adapted to swimming. During the dive, her nostrils are covered with a special leathery membrane, and her eyes can see well both in the atmospheric air and under water. In the water, the short, rounded wings of this bird act like oars, and its skeletal bones are not hollow inside, but are filled with bone marrow, which increases body weight and makes diving easier.
  • Adult dippers are able to dive for 5-10 seconds, although there are cases when birds remained under water for a good half a minute.
  • The coccygeal gland of the dipper is 10 times larger than that of other passerines. Its secret serves to thoroughly grease the dense plumage.

The life of a dipper is unthinkable without its own territory. Occupying a section of the channel about 1.5 km long, a pair of birds fiercely protects it from the encroachments of congeners. Dipper spends almost all of its time by the water or in the water. She flies low over the water, often flapping her wings, and squatting on a stone after another dive, makes a short knixen, like a lady-in-waiting, greeting a crowned lady on the run. Dipper's diet consists of amphipods, eggs, small fish and insect larvae. Sometimes the bird hunts on the shore, looking for food at the very edge of the water, but much more often it hunts under water, where it even turns over pebbles to get to a tidbit. Sharp claws allow her to run confidently over slippery stones at the bottom of the stream. Wandering through the shallows, the dipper now and then plunges its head into the water, grabbing its prey, but with no less success it can dive and swim under water, deftly using the force of the fast current.

In early spring, a pair of dippers starts building a nest, finding a convenient spot in the immediate vicinity of the water. A niche in a rocky cliff, hidden behind the wall of a waterfall, is best for this, but crevices in stones or depressions under the roots of trees, narrow gaps in bridge structures or cracks in old walls are quite acceptable. The nest is an oval covered structure with a side entrance facing the water. On occasion, dippers willingly build nests in semi-open birdhouses. In March-April, the female lays from 4 to 6 white eggs and incubates the clutch for 14-18 days without the help of her husband, but both parents take part in feeding the chicks. At the moment of leaving the nest, the chicks still cannot fly, but they can dive and swim as much as they like. At the sight of danger, they throw stones into the stream and swim under water to a safe distance, where they get to the shore and hide in the thickets. A pair of dippers usually feeds two broods in one season.

Common deer - Cinclus cinclus.
Length: about 20 cm.
Wingspan: 26-30 cm.
Number of eggs in a clutch: 4-6.
Incubation period: 14-18 days.
Number of broods per season: 2.
Food: insect larvae, eggs, crustaceans.

Plumage. The dorsal side, tail and wings are ash-gray with black edges along the edges of the feathers. The head and occiput are dark brown. The throat, breast and upper abdomen are white, the rest of the ventral side is dark.
Beak. The beak is short, subulate.
Body. The physique is dense.
Tail. The short tail is slightly raised up.
Wings. The wings are short, rounded.
Fingers. Three fingers point forward, one finger backward. All fingers are armed with sharp claws.
Legs. The legs are long and strong.

Related species.
The diapkovy family unites five bird species that live in the Northern Hemisphere. All of them have adapted well to life along the banks of fast mountain rivers and streams with clean water and get food under water. Deer are the only songbirds that can swim and dive. One species is found in North America and the northern part of the Andes, all the others inhabit Europe, Asia and North Africa.

See what the "Cinclidae family" is in other dictionaries:

Cinclidae -? Cinclus cinklus Scientific classification Kingdom: Animals Type ... Wikipedia

Deer - Cinclus cinclus ... Wikipedia

OLAP - (Cinclidae), a family of songbirds. L. 14 20 cm. The physique is dense. O. can swim, dive and run along the bottom of the reservoir (only against the current) in search of food (aquatic insects, crustaceans or molluscs), so O.'s ear openings and nostrils ... ... Biological Encyclopedic Dictionary

List of birds of Bhutan - Contents 1 Order: Grebes (Podicipediformes) 1.1 Family: Grebes (Podicipedidae) ... Wikipedia

List of birds of Russia - Contents 1 Birds of Russia 1.1 Order Storks, or Annealed Ciconiiformes ... Wikipedia

List of birds of Kazakhstan - Contents 1 Order Gaviiformes 2 Order Podicipediformes ... Wikipedia

List of birds of Latvia - Contents 1 Order: Loons (Gaviiformes) 1.1 Family: Loons (Gaviidae) ... Wikipedia

List of birds of Moldova - Contents 1 Order: Loons (Gaviiformes) 1.1 Family: Loons (Gaviidae) ... Wikipedia

List of birds of Ukraine - Contents 1 Order: Loons (Gaviiformes) 1.1 Family: Loons (Gaviidae) ... Wikipedia

List of birds of Estonia - Contents 1 Order: Loons (Gaviiformes) 1.1 Family: Loons (Gaviidae) ... Wikipedia


The deer is a semi-aquatic bird of a very characteristic appearance, the size of a small thrush, stocky and short-tailed. The adult coloration is mostly dark brown, with a bright white apron. Scaly pattern on the back, not visible from afar. Males and females do not differ externally, there are no seasonal differences in color. There are no similar species. Young dippers are paler than adults from above, brownish-gray, with a distinct scaly pattern formed by dark-brown edges on the coverts; from below, the white coloration of the throat is gradually replaced by gray on the belly, also with a dark scaly pattern from the throat to the undertail. By the beginning of autumn, young do not differ from adults. They fly low over the water, the flight is direct and fast. The deer is the only passerine bird that can dive. Weight 50-85 g, length 17-20, wing of males 9.2-10.1, females 8.2-9.1, span 25-30 cm.


The call is a sharp "dzit, dzit ...". Singing - loud pleasant babbling trills and whistles. Dippers begin to sing in winter, and in early spring they start nesting.


The deer lives in mountainous and hilly areas in different parts of Eurasia. In our region - in the mountains of the Urals, from the South to the Polar, in general, a rare bird, in some places common. It also nests in the mountains of southern Siberia.