Dipper adult on mossy waterfall, Derbyshire Dales

Dipper feeding

Dippers feed predominantly while submerged, picking food from the bottom of a stream or river bed.

Eating habits

Dippers feed on aquatic invertebrates, including mayfly nymphs and caddisfly larvae, and small fish such as minnows.

While the majority of small food items are swallowed under the water, dippers bring larger food items to the surface to eat, and any undigested material is regurgitated as pellets.

To hold their position and move around in fast flowing streams dippers use their wings.

Dippers are also known to feed on land along stream banks, turning over stones, leaves and debris. 

Foraging is a time consuming activity, taking up to 66 per cent of the day.

Dipper adult in shallow water in upland stream